For a Better Life, Move to...

...Australia, according to annual survey
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2012 10:07 AM CDT
Updated May 26, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
For a Better Life, Move to...
In this handout image provided by Sydney Tower Eye, the skyline and harbour of Sydney is seen from a viewing platform at the Sydney Tower Eye, on December 16, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.   (Getty Images)

Want a "better life"? Head to Australia. That country ranks highest on the annual Better Life Index, a well-being survey that measures everything from income to air pollution in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's 34 member countries plus Russia and Brazil. The OECD doesn't explicitly offer up a No. 1, but Australia's cumulative score puts it at the top, the Wall Street Journal reports. Among its pros: near-full employment and a historically high currency. The big con? A high cost of living.

The US, meanwhile, ranks No. 3. Rounding out the top five are Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. MSNBC notes that while America ranked at the very top in terms of income and wealth, we rank 29 out of 36 when it comes to work-life balance, putting us behind places like Estonia, Ireland, and Greece. But maybe Australia isn't the answer after all—it ranks 31 in that category. See the Journal for more high- and low-ranking countries. (More Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stories.)

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