Australia is the world’s happiest nation based on criteria including income, jobs, housing and health, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
Australia led Sweden and Canada, the Paris-based group’s Better Life Index showed, when each of 11 categories surveyed in 36 nations is given equal weight.
More than 73 percent of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, above the OECD average of 66 percent, while life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average, the survey showed.
Australia, the only major developed nation to avoid the 2009 worldwide recession, remains at the top of the OECD index even as a mining boom powering economic growth crests and the government forecasts unemployment will rise to 5.75 percent by June 2014, from 5.5 percent last month.
“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 OECD said.