AUSTRALIA has been ranked as the world’s happiest nation among developed economies for the third year running in the OECD Better Life Index, edging out Sweden in second place and Canada in third.
Britain scraped into the top 10 in the tenth position, falling behind the US and the rest of Scandinavia, in a shortlist of 36 countries.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranks countries based on 11 categories, including income, jobs, housing and health.
“Australia performs exceptionally well in measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index,” the Paris-based group said.
Australia’s strong economy has been credited for its top position in the yearly survey, as the only developed nation managing to avoid the worst of the global recession.
More than 73 per cent of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, compared to the OECD average of 66 per cent.
Most Australians agree life Down Under is pretty good, with 84 per cent of Australians saying they are satisfied with their lives, compared to an OECD average of 80 per cent. The UK experiences similar levels in this category, with 85 per cent of people saying they have more positive experiences than negative in an average day.
Health is also a contributing factor, with 85 per cent of Australians describing their health as good. Life expectancy is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average.
However, the survey also found Australians are working longer hours than the average, with more than 14 per cent of Australian workers putting in more than 50 hours a week. This is compared to the OECD average of 9 per cent. In the UK the average is 12 per cent.
The OECD website also notes a high level of civic participation and a strong sense of community as contributing to Australia’s ranking.
The top ten
6. United States
What do you think? Do we deserve the number one spot?