According to the latest OECD Better Life Index, Australia tops the list of member countries with the highest quality of life. OECD stands for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; an economic organization participated in by countries all over the world whose mission is “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” Four Australian cities are also included in the top 10 most livable cities in the world, as per the August 2013 Global Live ability Ranking and Report of the Economist.
These distinctions, coupled with having globally-recognized first-rate educational institutions and a warm welcoming people make Australia a popular destination for international students. In fact, it ranks 3rd next only to the US and the UK, in this respect. It hosts 6% of international students all over the world, again according to a 2013 OECD report. In addition to being the country with the best quality of life, the United Nations’ 2013 Human Development Index report also showed that Australia is only second to Norway when it comes to having a very high human development in list of 186 countries. Let’s take a look at the reasons why Oz enjoys these lofty recognitions.
High quality of life
Australia could very well be the Land of Oz, the fantasy world of Dorothy. Having the highest quality of life, it has been described by CNN as the “happiest industrialized nation.” The criteria used in the OECD survey include life satisfaction, environment, work-life balance, education, health, safety and income among others.
In spite of the global financial crisis, Australia’s economy grew steadily by 3.5% on the average during the last 20 years ending 2012, with inflation very well contained. Its financial system is also strong and stable, and unemployment is quite low.
Life expectancy in the country is high at 81.98 years and life satisfaction of Australians is also a high of 84%. This combination is reflective of why 85% of the population feels that they have more positive experiences such as enjoyment and pride on a day to day basis.
Globally-recognized educational institutions
The Australian National University ranks 24 out of 873 universities all over the world as per the QS World University Rankings – 2012. The same report also showed that Australia ranks 3rdfollowing the UK and US when it comes to countries with the most universities in the top 100.
In the University systems ranking of the Lisbon Council, the Australian university system ranks 1st among 17 countries. The top 5 countries in the ranking are as follows:
This confirms the description of Professor Ed Bryne, Vice Chancellor of Monash University on the status of the Australian university system. He said “The Australian university system is very vibrant. We are going forward in leaps and bounds in teaching, research and innovation.”
A warm welcoming populace
The majority of Australians believe that everyone has dignity, is worthy of respect and deserves to be afforded equal opportunity.They are more tolerant and accepting of people who are considered “different”and adhere to the idea that everyone deserves a “fair go”. They also strongly give credence to human freedom such as Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Aussies are also very down to earth, relax, casual and are very direct in their speech that is often injected with self-deprecation and humor. One of the best qualities of Australian stereotypes is an innate eagerness to help others-a selflessness and generosity of spirit which could be their most valuable trait.