Australia Is the World’s Happiest Country — Again

Are you unhappy right now? That's probably because you don't live Down Under.

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Will Woods / GETTY IMAGES

The flag of Australia

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 Organisation for Economic Co-operation 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 U.S. grabbed the sixth place.

(MORE: Where Are the World’s Friendliest Countries?)

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 U.S. 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 euro zone.

(MORE: Australia Tells Chinese Tourists: Welcome! (And Bring Your Checkbooks))

The country is also enjoying a tourist boom, in part because of an influx of Chinese and American visitors, who are flocking there despite record-high exchange rates. All told, Australians ranked 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.

(MORE: Easy Living in Australia: The Most Livable Cities in the World)

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

Here’s the full ranking:

  1. Australia
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. The U.S.
  7. Denmark
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Iceland
  10. The U.K.
14 comments
caso.francesco
caso.francesco

Guess where this articale comes from ? Australia ...no surprise 

mg1
mg1

I came here from an article about Finland being the happiest country in the world. Speaking of this article, Finland isn't even in the top 10. Don't we all love rankings? 

peterling
peterling

racists, discrimination against non-residents, expensive living cost, prejudice against overseas students, local companies don't hire overseas students because of non-residency. these problem seems existing for decades. i don't think Australia is the no.1. usa, canda, sweden, are still better. non-residents i.e. overseas students, overseas workers , suffer extremely depression when they look for a job. they will find the local companies don't respect equal work rights. therefore, they don't get the interview opportunity to get a full-time job.


suntze
suntze

Yeah??? We are now still living in the "Land of OZ" i.e. the "wicket witch" is still around!!! Can't wait till Sept/ or hopefully Aug.

FAIRGOGURU
FAIRGOGURU

Yes  And we are called racist.  But the fact is  some people have just got thin skins,  and we have an incompetent  left of socialist government  That spends  our taxes faster than they collect them.   The racial discrimination laws are ridiculous ,   Aussies call Americans "Yanks"  and English "Poms."  just like americans call the English  "Limeys" All illegal;  Kids steal cars and use them for ram raids  again and again   when they get caught  they get a slap on the wrist  from  "Juvenile Justice"

As an Australian  I would like to see  the punishment fit the crime,    No more crying hearts and everyone in the car should be charged and  put in  jail  regardless of age,  And the damage bill  should be split among them  and follow them  until  their debt is paid,   in full  Then  you might say it will be a better county.  

The best  well thats debatable.   Who decides and what is the criteria. 

galooch88
galooch88

Australians?  Well, as the old saying goes...ignorance is bliss!

VicTory
VicTory

I don't understand the title of the article, it is supposed that australia is the happiest country worldwide, but the index in the article just ranks developed countries. Does the writer suppose that the developed countries are always happier than deveploping countries? It's unreasonable. I don't think richer countries is happier.


Mykalg73
Mykalg73

You forgot to add the awesome weather down here - that's what probably makes most people happy.  And yes we have the moronic racists, but the grass is always greener, is it?

Frys2000
Frys2000

I think you should live here first. Ultra expensive, racist, drunk, traffic, violent maybe try Sweden or Canada

sumitron_2k@hotmail.com
sumitron_2k@hotmail.com

Australia may be most happy but its damn racist....I guess venting anger keeps them happy..

suntze
suntze

@FAIRGOGURU

FAIRGOGURU

100% agree with you! We are still living in the "Land of OZ" and the "wicked witch" is still around!!! Perhaps we will be happier after Sept.

Misery
Misery

@VicTory I would argue that developed and wealthy countries are always happier then they poorer neighbors. The better the one is off the more they capable of enjoying the finer things in life like travel, entertainment and art. 

if you have to worry where your next meal is coming from or what do do with your seven kids, the less chance you have for those things.

Sandhya_Iyer
Sandhya_Iyer

 @Misery I am from India (and no, I don't worry about where my next meal is coming from). I have long since understood that happiness is IN NO WAY related to how much money you make or how often you can afford to travel or how much luxury you have. 


I think one can find as much happiness travelling in a train in rural India taking in the breathtaking sights of the fields or enjoying an evening stage show with songs and dance in any village or finding the beauty in the colors children play with during 'Holi'. If that does not qualify as travel or entertainment or art, I don't know what does. 


Ok, my point is that money only makes life easier. 


Happiness is beyond money. It is beyond luxury.