NPR : News

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/.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
NPR

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
NPR

New Browser Plug-in Would Literally Annihilate This Headline

Mike Lazer-Walker created a free browser plug-in called Literally, which replaces the word "literally" with "figuratively" in all online text. As the website explains, that's literally all it does.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.