The survey, put together by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), calculates happiness by considering factors such as income, jobs and health.
Australia’s position at the top of the tree is thanks in part to a once-in-a-lifetime resources boom, which has allowed the country to avoid the worst effects of the recession and ensured that there is near full employment.
The result may be welcome news for recession-hit Europeans considering Australia holidays, with Australia’s legendary good weather and hospitality having long proved a draw.
The promise of a better standard of living has also encouraged a growing number of people to make a more permanent move Down Under, as 22-year-old Italian Davide Mazurek explained to The Australian: “I don’t want to go back to Italy now with the euro crisis; I like Australia, it’s better here, the wages are better.”
And Mr Mazurek is certainly not alone in appreciating the many positives to life in Australia – holidaymakers from across the UK are jumping on flights to Australia and exploring this most fascinating of countries for themselves.
Although the OECD shies away from giving any one of its 34 member countries overall first place in its Better Life Index, if the survey’s 11 categories were given equal weight Australia would come out on top.
This is due to an unemployment rate that continues to fall (down to 4.8 per cent in April, compared with 10.9 per cent in the eurozone) and a population in remarkably good health (85 per cent of Australians described their health as good – significantly more than the OECD average of 70 per cent).