Why is australia the happiest place to live

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For the third year in a row, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has ranked Australia as the happiest place out of the 36 industrialised nations in its survey.

So what makes life Down Under happy?

According to the OECD, there are 11 different parameters to happiness:


90% of Australians say they are satisfied with their current homes.

Though only 9% of Australians still consider the ‘great Australian dream’ as owning a big house in the suburbs, Australians have more rooms shared per person than the OECD average.

Rooms per person:

  • Australia: 2.3
  • OECD average: 1.6


The best things in life may be free, but you’ll need money when Sydney and Melbourne are the third and fourth most expensive cities in the world.

Thankfully, Australian households have high levels of disposable income.

Average household net-adjusted disposable income:

  • Australia: AUD $30, 669
  • OECD average: AUD $24,360


In Australia, 73% of people aged 15 – 64 have a paid job.

OECD average: 66%

This might be down to Australia, along with Germany and Canada, as being one of the few G20 economies to hold on to their AAA credit rating.

And when it comes to working, Australians aren’t as laid back as many would believe:

  • 14% of employees work very long hours
  • OECD average of 9%


Australia: where everyone’s your mate.

  • 67% of Australians have helped out a stranger in the past month
  • OECD average: 48%

On average, Australians spend 6 minutes per day in volunteering activities.

OECD average: 4 minutes

  • 94% of people believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need
  • OECD average: 90%


Australians spend more time learning.


  • Australians go through 18.5 years of education between the ages of 5 and 39.
  • OECD average: 16.5 years

Though the number of adults who have earned the equivalent of a high school degree is slightly lower than the OECD average (73% compared to 74%), the future looks bright:

  • 85% of 25-34 year olds have earned the equivalent of a high school degree.
  • OECD average: 82%


It’s not just about the famous sunshine and beaches.

91% of Australians say they are happy with their water quality.

Air quality in Australia is also highly rated. PM10 is a tiny particulate matter that can harm human health.

  • PM10 levels in Australia are 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • OECD average: 20.9 micrograms per cubic meter

World Health Organization guideline limit: 20 micrograms per cubic meter

Civic Engagement

Compared to other countries where compulsory voting is enforced, Australians come out on top.

Voter turnout:

  • Australia: 93%
  • Luxembourg: 91%
  • Brazil: 78%


Although Australia is the fifth most obese country in the develop world, life expectancy is one of the highest.

Obesity Rank Country Life expectancy at birth
1 USA 78.7
2 Mexico 74.2
3 NZ 81.2
4 Chile 78.3
5 Australia 82

There are also more doctors for every 10,000 people.

  • Australia: 29.91
  • United Kingdom: 27.43
  • United States: 24.22


Australians are safer when it comes to both assaults and homicides.

  • 2.1% of people have reported falling victim to assault over the last year.
  • OECD average: 4.0%

Homicides per 100,000 people:

  • Australia homicide rate: 1.0
  • OECD average: 2.2

Work-Life balance

Compared to the OECD average, people in Australia work fewer hours in a year, meaning they have more time for family, friends and leisure activities.

  • Australia: 1,693 hours worked in a year
  • OECD: 1,776 hours

Life Satisfaction

‘She’ll be right’ and ‘no worries’ seem to be quite truthful expressions.

  • 84% of people say they have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones.
  • OECD average: 80%


Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can buy you a ticket to the land Down Under.




Big house in the ‘burbs no longer the Aussie dream – news.com.au

Credit Rating – tradingeconomics.com

What are the most expensive cities to live in? – edition.cnn.com

Healthcare spending around the world, country by country – guardian.co.uk

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