Cheer up, Australia

According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey Australia is the world’s happiest nation, beating all of the 36 countries that partake in the index. The OECD measures the happiness of countries by collecting data over 11 categories for its Better Life Index.

Australia measured favourably in areas such as income, jobs, housing and health. According to the survey more than 73% of people aged between 15 to 64 have a paid job, compared to the average of 66% for the OECD. Australians also work less hours at 1,693 hours a year compared to average of 1,776 for the OECD.    

These results are very surprising, because if you follow the Australian media in close detail it would seem that Australia is falling apart. There are predictions of the mining boom coming to an end, and reports that property prices are falling (despite record high clearance rates) and unemployment is going through the roof. However, when you look at the facts Australia has low inflation, low unemployment and a prosperous future.

The media make out that China is heading into a low growth period, when in fact in the last twenty years 400 million people out of the 1,400 million population, have moved into cities. This has added to the 300 million already in cities, meaning about 50% of China is now ‘urbanised’. China plans to reach 70% urbanisation by around 2030  and in fact get to 80% by 2050, which would be comparable to the US. It’s not just China; India is on the same path, too. Urbanisation remains at just 30% but it is heading for 50% in 2030, which means building cities for another 280 million people.  

Australia is responsible for nearly a quarter of global mining revenue, generating more mining wealth than any other single country. Pretty amazing when you consider this is spread across a population of just 23 million people.

As you can see, Australia is in a great position to capitalise on the growth of Asian countries.

Australia is far from perfect but as a nation we are better off and in a better position than other countries around the globe, so cheer up and don’t always fall for the negative commentary you will hear in the Australian media.  


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