Australia ranked happiest place to live in the world

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an independent, Paris-based think-tank which publishes a list of the 'happiest' countries in the developed world every year. And for the third year in a row, Australia has come out on top.

Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland rounded out the top five while the UK could only manage 10th. Australia, in contrast, ranked better than all 34 countries within the OECD on a number of different factors.

The OECD survey used a number of different factors affecting daily life including income levels, public safety, housing and general health.

"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," said the OECD on its website.

Public participation in Australia is also exceptionally high thanks to its compulsory voting system; over 90% of eligible voters voted in the most recent elections, compared to just 66% in the UK.

Australia's life expectancy of almost 82 years is very respectable while almost 75% of its 23 million people of working age are in employment earning above the OECD average. Australia was also the only developed country in the world to avoid the pitfalls of recession during the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.

Instead, Australia has enjoyed two consecutive decades of sustained economic growth and is currently trading close to 30-year highs. The country is in a strong position thanks to its location and abundant natural resources to greatly benefit from the emergence of China and India as forefront global economies.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.