We’ll start with a clue: it’s in Australia. A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), studied and ranked the 362 regions of its 34 member nations according to nine measures of well-being.
The result had Australia at the top in the country-by-country rankings, followed by Norway, Canada, Sweden and the United States. However, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey and Mexico were judged to be the hardest places to live among O.E.C.D. countries, and all 10 of the bottom regional rankings went to Mexican states.
The report states that there is a growing awareness that we must go beyond GDP and economic statistics to get a fuller understanding of how society is doing. But it is also crucial to zoom in on how life is lived.
“Where you live has an impact on your quality of life, and in return, you contribute to making your community a better place. Comparable measures of regional well-being offer a new way to gauge what policies work and can empower a community to act to achieve higher well-being for its citizens” noted the report.
Used in the report were nine measures: education, jobs, income (measured at purchasing power parity to correct for cost-of-living differences between countries), safety, health, environment, civic engagement, access to broadband and housing. Reviewing the report an article in the New York Times, hailed Canberra as the place for an easy life, stating,”[It’s] down under but way above them all.” The Australian Capital Territory led the regional rankings in the report, according to an average calculated by the New York Times. Five Australian states were also in the top 10.
“[The ACT outscored the rest of the country, including the states containing Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, on a number of measures, including education, income, jobs and health. (The O.E.C.D. did not measure access to beaches or world-famous opera houses.)”
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