Where the world's happiest people are

By Paul Harper

Who are the world's happiest people? The results may surprise you. Photo / Thinkstock
Who are the world's happiest people? The results may surprise you. Photo / Thinkstock

Australians are happier than Kiwis, and women are more happy than men, an OECD survey has shown.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's online Better Life Index has compared the well-being of people in 34 OECD countries, based on housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.

According to responses, women are happier and more educated than men, despite spending twice as much time as men doing housework - an average of two-and-a-half hours a day, the Daily Mail reported.

Men are more likely to be in the labour market, have better health and earn higher pay, but they're more exposed to greater danger than women and have a lower life expectancy.

The recent results were the first time the researchers broke down the data into age and gender, as well as country or origin.

The findings said that men and women value basically the same things and regardless of country, people most value health, education and life satisfaction.

According to the report, New Zealanders are the ninth happiest people in world.

Australian respondents are the happiest, ahead of Norwegians, Americans, Swedes and the Danish.

When asked to rank their "general satisfaction" on a scale of 0-10, New Zealand respondents averaged 7.2, higher than the OECD average of 6.7.

New Zealand women averaged 7.2, while their male counterparts average 7.1.

The report said New Zealanders earn on average US$18,601, below the OECD average of US$22,387.

It also found there was a "considerable gap" between our richest and poorest, with the wealthiest 20 percent earning five times as much as the poorest 20 percent.

The wealthiest 20 per cent were much happier than the bottom fifth, averaging 7.6 compared to 6.7 in their responses. The top fifth also earn five times more than the bottom fifth, the report said.

Of New Zealand respondents, 78 per cent reported having more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones.

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