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Three Years In A Row, Australia Named Happiest Place By OECD

If you lived in Australia, you'd be much happier.

At least that's what you can glean from the latest Better Life Index issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranked Australia the world's happiest nation for a third year in a row.

Because we know you're wondering: The United States is ranked No. 6, behind Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

Why Australia? The BBC reports:

"More than 73% of Australia's 23 million people aged 15 to 64 have a paid job, above the OECD average.

"Life expectancy is also higher, at almost 82 years.

"Australia's economy has had more than two decades of growth due to demand for its natural resources.The nation also managed to sidestep the worst of the financial crisis and was the only major developed nation to avoid the global recession in 2009."

We'll add that a separate survey found that Australia and Portugal provide workers with the most paid vacation and holidays among countries with advanced economies.

In the aggregate, here are a few key OECD findings:

-- As you might expect people from different countries had different priorities. For example: "users in Africa and Latin America give more weight to material conditions than users in North America."

-- "Men tend to care more about income and less about community, health and work-life balance."

-- "Users in France tend to care more about community than their peers in other countries."

The OECD, by the way, has a wonderful interactive of its findings.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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