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Why Australia is the happiest developed nation

Posting in Education

Want to live in the happiest nation in the world? Go down under.

Those are the findings from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Better Life Index, which has Australia on top of the rankings, followed by Sweden, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States. OECD measured 11 criteria -- from education and jobs to the environment and health -- for 34 developed nations.

So what puts Australia on top? 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.

But unlike other rankings, OECD recognizes that while they can seem objective, rankings like this are very subjective. That's why they've produced an interactive index that allows you to put more importance on the 11 different criteria OECD recognizes as the most important quality of life measurements. Technically, OECD said no country was number one in the rankings, but if all criteria are weighed equally Australia comes out on top.

Make your own ranking.

Check out the data.

Australia ranked 'happiest' developed nation again [BBC]

Photo: Flickr/Hina

— By on May 28, 2013, 7:26 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure