Australia falls on the list of world’s happiest countries

Australia fails to make the top 10 world’s happiest countries.

Why are Australians so unhappy?

The United Nations has released its World Happiness Report – with countries rated on income equality, healthy life expectancy, level of social support, freedom, trust and generosity by their own citizens.

Australia failed to make the top 10.

The overwhelming consensus was that Scandinavian citizens are the happiest in the world.

Topping the list was Finland, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands, then Sweden and Switzerland.

New Zealand citizens ranked their homeland at eighth on the ladder – ahead of Canada, and Austria respectively.

Australia was the 11th happiest country in the world, faring better than the United States which was rated the 19th happiest country in the world.

The value of ‘happiness’ was calculated using three measures – life evaluations, positive affect, and negative affect.

Respondents were asked to respond to the following question:

“Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”

How would you have answered?



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    9th May 2019
    Pretty near to the top. I have nearly all my basic needs met - some not quite as comprehensively as I would wish but adequately enough. I am disabled but can still organise getting around with help. I have time to spend with kids and grand-kids and can help with a lot that doesn't require physical capacity that is beyond my capability. I can meet with friends and spend time chatting and doing other interesting stuff that doesn't cost too much without having to worry about impossibly short 1/2 hour lunch breaks coming to an end. I don't have to worry about oversleeping, keeping to an employer's schedule, organising holidays around employment requirements etc etc. I get to spend endless hours of enjoyment with my little dogs, appreciating the blue skies and sunshine, watching the antics of squabbling birds, noticing the endless variety of plant life where my lawn is supposed to be :), mentally planning what would look good growing there instead and wondering if that would actually be an improvement on what is already there! I enjoy life along with all its problems and uncertainties. I am glad to be alive even with all the political turmoil and social upheaval that besets today's world. I am glad to just be.
    9th May 2019
    Lovely to see a great positive (as in non whingeing) post. I am glad for your positive viewpoint Bushbaby.
    9th May 2019
    Also near the top, as a Self Funded Retiree, I don't have to report to a boss (except her indoors of course), our time is our time to do as we wish. No Centrelink or interaction with the Government. Life is good.

    Time to volunteer as we wish and also to persue our own activities. Good health and good friends. What more could you wish for?
    9th May 2019
    Not surprised at all, this country is going to the dogs!
    10th May 2019
    I totally agree Tood, since the LNP have been in control the country has definitely gone to the dogs in fact I'd say slid in to the sewer for many reasons. Everything's fine and dandy for the top 1% they've become more wealthy and greedier but for the average Australian life is a struggle. I'm not talking about myself because I've retired and I own my house but I have worked very long hours over the last 50 years to finally get where I am now. A divorce about 25 years ago set me back quite a bit which meant I had to work longer hours and save like crazy which meant going without luxuries which isn't hard to do. Thankfully I don't smoke or drink therefore I would have saved lots by not having these addictions and of course my health has been excellent which has helped me keep up the work pressure.
    9th May 2019
    I fell off the ladder ages ago and won't go there again.
    9th May 2019
    Neither at the top nor the bottom. You just need to celebrate what you have and are able to do. It also depends on your values. What is important to you dictates how you would number the ladder. Family, health, freedom, comfort could be a basis to evaluate your happiness.
    Different times of the the year would impact as well. Going on holiday to see my grandkids would make me happy. Knowing my family is safe and well makes me happy.
    Worrying can make a difference too. No one has everything so basing your level on what you don’t have is silly. If I had one regret it would be not travelling more when younger.
    Bushbaby, good on you, as I am partially disabled as well.
    9th May 2019
    Another not very useful comparison. What does it tell us about these happier countries? Well for a start, you don't need to be rich to be happy but it helps. Beside them all having cooler climates than Australia, they are compact and only Canada has similar issues with small population and lots of empty space (exclude Greenland). But the thing that stands out most is each collects more tax relative to GDP to spend on services than does Australia.

    Australia tax ratio is estimated at 23.3% in 2019/20, which is not out of line with historical spending. Nevertheless, pollies of both sides admonish those who suggest increasing spending and most Australians support this. It should therefore be unsurprising that much of our welfare spending is one of the lowest in the OECD. It makes no sense to beat ourselves up for falling outside the top 10 until such time there is an appetite for change, afterall there are 145 countries less happy.

    (OECD Tax:GDP Ratio 2017)
    Finland 43.3
    Denmark 46
    Norway 38.2
    Iceland 37.7
    Netherlands 38.8
    Sweden 44
    Switzerland 28.5
    New Zealand 32
    Canada 32.2
    Austria 41.8
    10th May 2019
    Been to all of the countries mentioned. Finland at the top is also on top of the suicide rate because of the eternal darkness during winter?? For folks wanting a good easy life Australia would come on top. Where else in the world could you be on new start all your life and then get the full age pension? This is paradise for alternative life stylers. I do like a drink and so the Scandinavian countries are definitely out - had a 500 ml beer in Iceland last summer and paid $US11 for it, only had the one!!
    Happy to stay here for keeps although I have a residency permit for Europe. I put Australia on top of the ladder.

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