According to a landmark International survey, Ireland is the fifteenth happiest place to live in the world.
Australia has been ranked the world’s happiest nation followed by Norway, the USA, Sweden, Denmark and Canada.
Our neighbouring country, the UK are slightly happier at 11th in the study.
The results come together from an online index incorporating information about everything from health, crime and income levels to ‘work-life balance’ across 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Ireland ranks among the top ten countries in several topics in the Better Life Index.
Money is not everything, but it is an important factor to achieving higher living standards. The average person in Ireland earns $24,156 USD a year, more than the OECD average of $22,387 USD a year.
The top 20% of the population of Ireland earn more than four times as much as the bottom 20%, showing a major difference between the rich and poor in the country.
As regards employment, 60% of people aged between 15-64 in Ireland have a paid job, which is above the OECD employment average of 66%. There are more men in paid work at 64% and 56% of women in paid work.
Most people in the OECD work an average of 1,749 hours while people in ireland work 1,664 hours a year. Hours worked in Ireland are much lower than the OECD average of 9%. 6% of men work very long hours compared with 1% for women.
Finding a job in Ireland is hard without a good education. 72% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the 74% OECD average.
More women than men have successfully completed high-school in Ireland in contrast to the overall OECD experience. And again, on average, Irish girls upstage boys by 12 points, slightly more than the average OECD gao of 9 points.
The quality of the Irish education system is in line with the OECD average. The average Irish student scored 497 in reading, literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment.
In terms of health we are above average. Life expectancy from birth is 81. Women’s age is 83, while a man’s life expectancy is 79.
89% of people in Ireland are happy with the quality of their water, above the OECD 85% average.
The level of atmospheric PM10- tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs- is 13 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter.
Ireland does well regarding the public sphere. 98% of people know someone they could rely on in time of need, above the OECD average of 91%. Irish people tend to have a strong sense of community.
The OECD’s average voter turnout is 73%, while Irelan fall behind shortly with 67% of citizens participating in recent elections.
Overall, Irish people prove to be more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. According to the OECD, 72% of people have more positive experiences than negative experiences in an average day. On a daily basis, 77% of people say they have more poistive experiences (feeling at ease, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative feelings (worry, pain, boredom, sadness).
So, SMILE if you’re from Ireland!