Australia Happiest Place to Live for a Third Year: OECD
For the third year in a row, Australia has taken the top prize for being the happiest place to live in the advanced world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Better Life Index.
The annual index ranks the world's 34 industrialized economies based on key criteria such as jobs, health, environment, education and income and Australia was the only Asia-Pacific country to find a place in the top 10.
Sydney-based John Horner, forex strategist at Deutsche Bank, said Australia topping the list is worth remembering at a time when there's negativity going around about the country's economic outlook over the past month or so.
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"The fundamentals are still very strong," Horner added.
Economists have been sounding the alarm as the mining boom, which has led Australia's growth for nearly a decade, begins to fade, and the government tries to kick start weaker sectors like manufacturing, retail and housing.
But the land Down Under is now in its 22nd year of economic growth, while its forecast budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends in June 2014 is just 1.1 percent of gross domestic product, compared to about 4 percent in the U.S and 6 percent in the U.K., Reuters reports.
Nick Maroutsos, managing director at fixed income firm Kapstream Capital, said the index overall reflects why Australia is a "beautiful" place to live.
"You can't beat the weather, the beaches… the people, the culture, the food, so I think in that Top 5—Australia is certainly well placed at number 1," Maroutsos said.
Australia beat Sweden and Canada, Number 2 and 3 respectively, and other European heavyweights like Switzerland known for its high quality of life. The United States ranked sixth on the list.
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Australia scored top marks for safety, civic management, health and environment.
Its neighbor to the south—New Zealand—missed the top 10, coming in 11th this year, while other Asian countries like Japan was placed 21st and South Korea was 27th.
— By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani; Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu