What is the Happiest State in Australia?

April 17, 2024

Key takeaways:

  • Queensland leads as Australia’s happiest state, thanks to its sunny weather and relaxed lifestyle.
  • Tasmania excels in community connection and safety, scoring high in wellbeing.
  • Happiness in Australia is gauged through diverse factors, including economic and social elements.
  • Insights on happiness inform policies aimed at enhancing Australians’ quality of life.

Finding the happiest state in Australia isn’t as easy as you might think.

The happiness of a population is influenced by various factors such as economic security, physical health, and social relationships.

BUT, the World Happiness Report and studies by Australian institutions frequently explore the subject, providing insights into the well-being of the nation’s states and territories.

And it looks like the happiest states in Australia are…

  • Queensland: Celebrated for its sunny climate and relaxed lifestyle, Queensland has been named the happiest state by the NAB Wellbeing Index. Factors contributing to this title include the warmth of the weather, the comfort of home ownership, and the joy that pets bring to their owners.
  • Tasmania: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index crowns Tasmania for its exceptional average wellbeing score, attributed to its strong community connections, safety, and sense of belonging among its residents.

The measurement of happiness in Australia involves an array of indicators such as

  • Personal wellbeing
  • Standard of living
  • Achievements in life

The data suggests considerable variation amongst states. Factors like income, employment, and environmental quality can influence these outcomes.

With the contrasting reports regarding NSW’s personal wellbeing, it is clear that happiness can be multifaceted and dependent on various criteria.

Determining Happiness in Australia

When looking at the happiest state in Australia, a combination of survey data and happiness indices is utilised to measure the well-being of residents. These tools together provide a comprehensive picture of life satisfaction across the nation.

Happiness Indices

The World Happiness Report is a significant tool that ranks countries and regions, such as Australian states, based on factors like GDP, social support, and life expectancy. Australia’s ranking in this report is often considered when evaluating the relative happiness of its states.

Another index specific to Australia might be the Australian Happiness Index, which takes local culture and values into account.

Survey Methodologies

Survey methodologies vary but often include both quantitative and qualitative measures. Key methodologies include:

  • User-rated life evaluations, where Australians rate their current life situation on a scale.
  • Annual surveys are also conducted by prestigious institutions. These may include face-to-face interviews or online questionnaires.
  • Gallup’s data collection has been a reference in measuring happiness. This is due to its large sample size and methodological rigour, making it highly valued for its insights into personal well-being and national contentment.

Australia’s Happiest States

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, Australia

The well-being of Australians varies considerably across states and territories, influenced by numerous factors. The latest reports provide insights into where happiness thrives in the land Down Under.

Rankings by State – Queensland at #1

Queensland came out on top in a 2018 survey by the National Australia Bank (NAB). They found that Australians over 65 who live in Queensland, own a house and have a pet are the happiest in the country.

The sunshine and laid-back lifestyle might be factors contributing to Queensland’s title as the happiest state.

For those considering a move, Queensland not only offers happiness but is also regarded as the best state to live in Australia, balancing lifestyle and opportunities.

Rankings by State – Tasmania at #2

Tasmania has the highest average well-being score according to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index 2021.

They measure wellbeing in seven areas:

  • Life satisfaction
  • Standard of living
  • Healthy behaviours
  • Social connections
  • Community connectedness
  • Safety and security
  • Future security

Tasmania scored highest in relationships, safety and community connectedness.

Key Contributing Factors

Here’s a breakdown of possible factors contributing to happiness in Queensland and Tasmania:


Climate and LifestyleSunshine, warm weather, and a relaxed coastal vibe may promote feelings of well-being and enjoyment of outdoor activities.
HomeownershipOwning a home can provide stability, security, and a sense of accomplishment, potentially boosting happiness.
Pet OwnershipPets offer companionship, reduce stress, and encourage social interaction, which can contribute to happiness.
Strong EconomyA healthy economy with job opportunities may lead to financial security and a sense of purpose, impacting happiness.


Strong Community ConnectionsHigh scores in relationships, safety, and community connectedness suggest a supportive social environment, which is crucial for happiness.
Sense of BelongingA close-knit community atmosphere can foster a sense of belonging and social inclusion, potentially leading to greater happiness.
Work-Life BalanceFactors influencing this could be a slower pace of life, less demanding work schedules, or a focus on outdoor activities, which can contribute to a sense of well-being.
Natural EnvironmentTasmania’s beautiful natural scenery and access to wilderness areas may promote relaxation, stress reduction, and connection to nature, all of which can contribute to happiness.
Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia

Additional Considerations

  • It’s important to remember that these are just some possibilities, and the specific reasons for happiness may vary between individuals within each state.
  • Other factors that can influence happiness include:
    • Health
    • Income
    • Personal relationships
    • Job satisfaction
    • Purpose in life

Implications of Happiness Data

The study and analysis of happiness data offer significant insights for shaping society. They serve as critical indicators for both policy development and socioeconomic strategies.

Policy Development

Insights from happiness data can lead policymakers to craft initiatives that aim to improve the overall wellbeing of citizens.

For example, understanding that Australia has outranked New Zealand for happiness could direct governments to examine the contributing factors, such as community support or healthcare quality, and replicate these successful policies.

  • Areas of focus could include:
    • Healthcare system enhancements
    • Education and employment support
    • Community and social services

Socioeconomic Impact

The ripple effects of a happy population are far-reaching. Countries with higher happiness scores often show stronger economic performance and social cohesion.

For instance, happier populations tend to have a more productive workforce. This can lead to an increase in GDP.

  • Economic benefits may include:
    • Increased consumer spending
    • Higher worker productivity
  • Social benefits highlight:
    • Reduced crime rates
    • Improved physical and mental health

In conclusion, Queensland and Tasmania stand out as examples of happiness hubs in Australia, each offering a unique blend of environmental and social structures that contribute to their residents’ well-being.

For those exploring where to live, these insights might also interest you in learning about the best place to live in Australia, providing further information on what makes a location ideal for happiness and quality of life. Across the nation, Australians find joy in a variety of settings, reaffirming the country’s reputation as a diverse and vibrant place for well-being.

FAQ Section on ‘What is the Happiest State in Australia?’

Where is the happiest place to live in Australia?

Queensland claims the title as Australia’s happiest state, with individuals living in rural areas experiencing the highest wellbeing, slightly surpassing those in capital and regional cities.

What states in Australia are ranked by happiness?

Australia ranks among the top 10 happiest countries globally, although a generational divide exists regarding perceived happiness. The World Happiness Report, sponsored by the United Nations and including 143 countries and territories, places Nordic nations at the top, with Finland ranked first.

Is Australia a happy country?

Yes, Australia is considered a happy country, ranking among the top 10 happiest countries worldwide according to the United Nations-sponsored World Happiness Report. However, there is a noted generational divide in happiness levels.

Which city has the most job opportunities in Australia?

Adelaide, located on the southern coast of Australia, is recognized as one of the best cities for work, offering abundant parklands and open spaces. It is the fifth most populous city in Australia and is renowned for its job opportunities.

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