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Secure Connection SimplyOz Blog: Australia is the World’s Happiest Country—Again

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 • News

Are you unhappy right now? That’s probably because you don’t live Down Under. For the third year in a row, Australia has topped the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index, which ranks developed nations based on how satisfied residents are with their lives.

Meanwhile, Sweden and Canada were runners-up, and the United States grabbed sixth.

So what makes Australia so great? Thank the economy. Because of its booming mining industry and strong trading ties with China, the island nation managed to deflect most of the recessionary effects that hit Europe and the United States. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Australia’s had 21 years of steady economic growth, and its 5.5% unemployment rate (in April) is less than half the average in the eurozone.

The country is also enjoying a tourist boom, in part due to an influx of Chinese and American visitors, who are flocking despite record-high exchange rates. All told, Australians rank their life-satisfaction at 7.2 out of 10, according to the study. The average, meanwhile, was 6.6.

That’s not to say everything is all cheery down under. The country faces dwindling consumer confidence amid a rise in the country’s high cost of living. Australians also rank pretty poorly in work-life balance, with more than 14% of the population working very long hours—5% higher than the average. And there’s always the occasional kangaroo attack.

But that’s all trumped by the quality of life, laidback attitude, and growing cities, which rank as some of the most livable in the world. As Sydney resident Gaurav Chawla told the WSJ, “It’s more secure here, cleaner, less cars on the road and less pollution.”

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