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Australians: World's most prosperous people

March 20, 2009 11:15 IST
Australians are the most prosperous people in the world, enjoying good health, freedom of choice, political liberty, civil rights and high income, a new study has revealed.

Ranking countries on the basis of their prosperity, Dubai-based Legatum Institute noted that there was no direct correlation between wealth and happiness.

While it was true that income was a good indicator of wellbeing in very poor countries, earnings did not link with happiness in rich countries, the think tank was quoted as saying by 'The Age' newspaper today.

Various studies have downplayed money as a predictor of how we feel about our lives. The finding, though, does not come as any surprise to Melbourne lawyer and academic Mirko Bagaric.

"Once we're above the poverty line, money makes only a small contribution to our level of happiness - and once we reach about the average level of income it makes virtually no difference to our level of contentment," Bargaric says.

"The things that are conducive to happiness are fit and healthy bodies, realistic goals, self-esteem, optimism, an outgoing personality, a sense of control, close relationships, challenging work and active leisure punctuated by adequate rest and a faith that entails communal support, purpose and acceptance," he adds.

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