Australians happiest in regional and rural areas

  • By Zilla Efrat

Regional and rural residents are the happiest people in Australia, according to NAB’s Regional and Agribusiness Horizons Report.

The report also found that one in three Australians believe they are extremely happy – the highest rating NAB economists have seen since 2018.

NAB’s executive for regional and agribusiness, Julie Rynski, said the findings of the report, which studies the wellbeing across the nation, help explain why so many Australians are making the move from the city to greener pastures.

“This research absolutely reflects what we are seeing and hearing from people in rural communities across Australia. The pandemic has clearly given people a reason to reassess their life priorities with many opting for a green change that is paying dividends in terms of their happiness and overall wellbeing.

“Some of the primary drivers of happiness are being close to nature and having a strong sense of community. Regional and rural locations are perfect for meeting these needs while also providing a more relaxed lifestyle and in many cases a lower cost of living.”

Rynski says new technologies and remote working have provided people with the choice to work where they want to live rather than having to live where they work.

“More people moving to regional areas means more investment in local schools, transport and hospitals and more support for regional communities and businesses – this is great news for the regions,” she says.

“If this trend continues, it will promote more diversified regional economies and help balance growth right across Australia.”

NAB’s research also tracks consumer stress and shows that those living in regional cities and in rural areas consistently report significantly lower stress than those in capital cities.