There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics – This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.
The Index allows you to put different weights on each of the topics, and therefore to decide for yourself what contributes most to well-being. Australia may be the world’s happiest industrialized nation by one reckoning, even as it grapples with rising inflation, pricey housing and worries that it is developing a two-track economy. Australia’s high rank—drawn from data from the United Nations, individual governments and other sources—is due in part to its strong economic performance despite the global economic upheaval of recent years. Growing demand for raw materials from China and other fast-growing Asian economies have kept the nation’s mines, farms and pipelines humming. Unemployment in April was 4.9%, compared with 9% in the U.S.
Australia doesn’t top any of the individual categories, but if each is given equal weight then Australia’s cumulative rank rises to No. 1, according to the OECD website, following closely by Canada and Sweden. The U.S. ranks No. 7.
Australia’s average life expectancy of 81.5 years is more than two years above the OECD average. Average household disposable income is US$27,039, compared with an OECD average of US$22,284, although average wealth is below the mean.