How does the quality of life in Australia compare with other countries around the world? The short answer is ‘very well’.

Australia is a member country of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED). This organisation promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OCED publishes a Better Life Index which compares the quality of life of its member countries. The Better Life Index looks at areas that directly affect people’s daily lives such as healthcare, schooling, social security, how much leisure time people have, and the amount of taxes people pay.

Australia ranks among the top countries in most areas of the Better Life Index.

Some of the quality of life areas in which we excel or are above the average of other OCED countries are:

  • Income - household net adjusted disposable income per capita is higher than the OCED average
  • Jobs - over 72% of people aged 15 to 64 have a paid job well above the OECD employment average of 65%
  • Working hours - people in Australia work 1,728 hours a year, less than most people in the OECD who work 1,765 hours
  • Life expectancy - from birth the Australian life expectancy is almost 82 years of age which is two years higher than in other OCED countries
  • Air quality - the level of atmospheric PM10 - tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs - is 13.1 micrograms per cubic meter, substantially lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter
  • Water quality - 93% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, higher than the OECD average response of 84%
  • Community - 93% of Australians believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need, higher than the OECD average of 89% 
  • Life Satisfaction - 83% of Australians say they have more positive than negative experiences in an average day, more than the OECD average of 76%

With such a high standard of quality of life it is no wonder that migration to Australia is increasing. On 26 January 2014 at Australia Day ceremonies around the country 18,000 migrants to Australia became Australian citizens. More than a quarter of the country’s population are born elsewhere.  The latest figures from the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS) show people born in the United Kingdom continue to be the largest group of Australian residents born overseas followed by New Zealand, China and India.

Australia is an attractive destination for migrants due to its affluence, quality of life and excellent job opportunities.

This article covers interesting statistics from the OCED Better Life Index on the quality of life in Australia. Please use it as a guide only.

OCED Better Life Index
Australia's foreign-born population on the rise as record number of people become Australian citizens, ABC News, 28 January 2014