Australia on 27 May 2013 was ranked as the world's happiest nation among developed economies for the third consecutive year as per the Better Life Index compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland ranked second, third, fourth and fifth position respectively. The survey ranked more than 30 countries on criteria like income levels, health, safety and housing.
Highlights of the Survey
• More than 73 percent of Australia's 23 million people aged 15 to 64 hold a paid job, which is above the OECD average.
• Life expectancy at birth is also higher, at almost 82 years.
• Australia's economy registered more than two decades of straight growth due to demand for its natural resources.
• It also managed to overcome the worst of the financial crisis and was the only major developed nation to avoid the global recession in 2009.
• The Australian dollar is currently trading close to 30 year highs.
• However, Australia is facing challenge in the form of a widening income gap. According to the OECD, the top 20 percent of Australia's population earn six times more than the bottom 20 percent.