America

Three Years In A Row, Australia Named Happiest Place By OECD

The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia. i i

The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

If you lived in Australia, you'd be much happier.

At least that's what you can glean from the latest Better Life Index issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranked Australia the world's happiest nation for a third year in a row.

Because we know you're wondering: The United States is ranked No. 6, behind Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

Why Australia? The BBC reports:

"More than 73% of Australia's 23 million people aged 15 to 64 have a paid job, above the OECD average.

"Life expectancy is also higher, at almost 82 years.

"Australia's economy has had more than two decades of growth due to demand for its natural resources.The nation also managed to sidestep the worst of the financial crisis and was the only major developed nation to avoid the global recession in 2009."

We'll add that a separate survey found that Austria and Portugal provide workers with the most paid vacation and holidays among countries with advanced economies.

In the aggregate, here are a few key OECD findings:

— As you might expect people from different countries had different priorities. For example: "users in Africa and Latin America give more weight to material conditions than users in North America."

— "Men tend to care more about income and less about community, health and work-life balance."

— "Users in France tend to care more about community than their peers in other countries."

The OECD, by the way, has a wonderful interactive of its findings.

Correction at noon ET, May 30: We mistakenly wrote earlier that "Australia and Portugal" offer the most paid vacation. But as the survey shows, we should have said Austria, not Australia. We've corrected the post above.

May 30, 2013

In the original version of this post, we mistakenly said that Australia offers workers more paid vacation and holidays than any other nation (except Portugal) with an advanced economy. We should have written Austria. The post has now been corrected.

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