Australia’s happiest electorate is Mayo in South Australia and the unhappiest is Blaxland in Sydney’s west.
Big city suburbs tend to be unhappier than those in regional areas, according to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey which analysed life satisfaction across all 150 federal seats ahead of the July 2 election.
Mayo, the electorate with more smiles, is held by Liberal and former minister Jamie Briggs. Before him, former foreign minister and now Australian high commissioner in London Alexander Downer was the local member for 24 years.
The sitting member at Blaxland, the electorate with the lowest personal wellbeing rating, is Labor frontbencher Jason Clare. The seat has been held by the ALP since 1949.
The index evaluates satisfaction across a range of areas — standard of living, health, achievement, personal relationships, safety, community connection and future security. The index scores personal wellbeing out of 100, with the national mean at 75.37.
Apart from Mayo (79.49) in the Adelaide hills, the seats of Murray (79.15) and Mallee (79.05) in Victoria’s north, Gilmore (78.92) on the NSW south coast, Maranoa (78.82) and Kennedy (78.41) in north Queensland and the big rural seat of O’Connor (78.33) in southern Western Australia are all in the top 10.
The western Sydney seats of Chifley (71.56), McMahon (71.86) and Werriwa (72.00) join Blaxland (71.22) in the bottom 10, which also includes the Melbourne suburban electorates of Holt (71.38), Calwell (72.63) and Scullin (72.90).
Here are the top 10 happiest and unhappiest:
The findings are drawn from more than 24,000 responses to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index over the past 10 years.
“This wellbeing divide between suburban and rural Australia is perhaps linked to aspiration within urban areas and some frustration at not having the resources to meet that aspiration,” says Deakin University senior research fellow Delyse Hutchinson.
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