Australia named world's happiest nation

Sydney, May 28 (IANS) Australia has once again topped the world as the happiest industrialised nation, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that was released Tuesday.

The OECD Better Life Index compares the well-being of 34 developed and emerging countries based on eleven categories including housing, income, jobs, education, life satisfaction and work-life balance, reported Xinhua.

In an update launched Tuesday at OECD Week 2013 in Paris, the Better Life Index found that 84 percent of Australians are satisfied with their lives -- better than the OECD average of 80 percent.

Participants said they have more positive experiences, such as feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment and enjoyment, in an average day than negative ones.

Australians' happiness was even greater than that of Canadians and Swedes, also known for high standards of living.

The survey also found that Australians are living longer, with life expectancy at almost 82 years -- two years higher than the average.

Employment levels are also stronger -- at 73 percent compared with an average of 66 percent for people aged 15 to 64.

Australia also performed well in the areas of civic engagement, with a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation, and health, having achieved "remarkable progress" in reducing the number of smokers in the population.

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