It’s happiness survey time again with the publication of the OECD’s annual Better Life Index. And, for once, it’s not a Scandinavian country that comes out on top. No, this time Australia -- the fabled “Lucky Country” -- hits the jackpot, once you add all its Brownie points together. The most important factor right now is low unemployment compared with Europe and North America:
Strong demand for iron ore and coal exports means Australia's unemployment rate was 4.9% in April, compared with 10.9% in the euro zone and 8.1% in the U.S. More than 72% of the working-age population in the country is employed, compared with the OECD average of 66%.
As consumers Australians are not so happy, given the cost of living, but some 71% of them trust their political institutions (compared with an OECD average of 56%) and 85 per cent rate their health as good (OECD average 70 per cent).
But much of the credit for antipodean happiness has to go to Aussie men:
The survey also found that Australian men spend nearly three hours every day cooking, cleaning or caring—one of the highest scores across the OECD's 34 member countries and ahead of men in the U.S., Germany and Canada.