Congratulations – Australia ranked ‘happiest’ nation again

Australia has been ranked the world’s happiest nation among developed economies for the third year running.

Top position went to Australia, because of the overall strength of its economy, in the Better Life Index compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The survey ranked more than 30 countries on criteria such as income levels, health, safety and housing.

The World’s Happiest Countries

  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Iceland
  • United Kingdom

According to the OECD:

“Australia performs exceptionally well in measures of wellbeing, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index,”

[sam id=32 codes=’true’]More than 73 per cent of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, above the OECD average of 66 per cent, while life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average, the survey showed.

Life expectancy is also higher, at almost 82 years.

Australia, the only major developed nation to avoid the 2009 worldwide recession, remains at the top of the OECD index even as the mining boom powering economic growth crests and the government forecasts unemployment will rise to 5.75 per cent by June 2014, from 5.5 per cent last month.

The average household net-adjusted disposable income was $US28,884 a year, well above the OECD average of $US23,047.

The OECD noted:

“Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards,”


Australia is  facing a widening income gap.

According to the OECD, the top 20% of our country’s population earn six times more than the bottom 20%. The data also showed Australians work fewer hours a year than their OECD peers. The average Australian works 1693 hours, compared with most people in the OECD who work 1776 hours a year.

We  also share a stronger sense of community than the OECD average. According to the the report, 94 per cent of people “believe they know someone they could rely on in a time a need”, higher than the OECD average of 90 per cent.

And more Australians participate in the democratic process than anywhere else in the OECD, with 93 per cent voter turnout during the last election, the highest among the surveyed countries. The average is 72 per cent.

Australians are also more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 84 per cent of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 80 per cent.



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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