Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Australian Capital Territory is just about the best address on earth - OECD

The Northern Territory is a lot like North Carolina, Queensland like Western Norway and the Australian Capital Territory like New Hampshire. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation has unveiled a massive wellbeing matching machine able to match living standards throughout the world in eight dimensions; among them safety, health, income and access to services.

Australia’s clear cut winner is the Australian Capital Territory, scoring 10 out of 10 for income, 9.6 for jobs and 9.5 for the environment.

The ACT’s average income is the highest of the any of the 300 developed nation regions identified by the OECD.

The matching machine says Australia’s national capital is most like Western Norway, New Hampshire or South East England.

The national capital’s worst score, for education, is 9.1 out of 10. But 9.1 is a far better score than any other Australian state. Victoria scores 7.4 for education, NSW 7.2, Western Australia 7, and Queensland 6.9.

Tasmania’s score for education is 5.6, putting it in the bottom 27 per cent of the OECD’s 300 regions. The ACT is in the top 19 per cent. But Tasmania shines in ‘environment’, scoring 10 out of 10 along with Queensland, NSW and Victoria, putting it in the top 1 per cent of the world’s regions...

“Where people live has a huge effect on their quality of life,” said OECD territorial development director Rolf Alter, launching the website at a conference in Brussels. “By zooming in like this, we can really see the big differences that exist between regions and work out what local and state governments must do to reduce them.”

The eight well-being factors, shown as different-coloured petals, are based on data such as household income, life expectancy, homicide rates, broadband access and particulate matter in the air.

Victoria and NSW are hard to separate, both scoring highly in most dimensions. NSW does better in income, scoring 7.1, compared to 6.4. Victoria is better for jobs (8.5 compared to 8.3) and safety (9.6 compared to 9.2).

The Northern Territory is the least well-off of Australia’s states, scoring just 4.1 for health and 1.4 for safety. Its health score is in the OECD’s bottom 29 per cent. Its safety score is in the bottom 13 per cent.

Earlier this month the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that it would abandon its own version of the OCED index, Measures of Australia’s Progress in order to cut costs.

In The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

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