Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

In the recently released OECD’s Better Life Index 2012 report, Australia took the top spot as one of the world's happiest countries. The United States came in at number three. The report measured income, housing and life satisfaction to gauge the satisfaction or happiness of people living in these countries. However, when balancing various metrics based on what people value and each individual’s definition of the “good life,” the U.S. was ahead of other countries when it came to income and housing. Denmark, which was number 15 in the overall report, beat out the other countries in terms of community, life satisfaction and work-life balance, whereas Australia didn’t even appear in the top seven. So the report isn’t to say that a certain country is a better place to live than another based off of its ranking; however, when broken down into various factors the “happy economics” were difficult to pinpoint because people base their happiness on what they value the most. 

What’s the Big Idea? 

Happiness has no theory. Income commonly gets factored in because without income people would be miserable, but not all people value money in the same way. What people value plays a vital role in their overall satisfaction, but it is extremely difficult to try and understand the values of all the people in the world.