Happiness found in regional Australia

National Australia Bank

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

The report, which studies the wellbeing across the nation, reveals that 1 in 3 Australians say 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 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.”

Diana Williams, Manager at the Whitton Malt House in Whitton, initially moved to regional New South Wales for a six-week contract and almost 16 months later is still Riverina resident.

“I packed up my car, embraced the challenge and lived literally in the middle of a paddock, knowing no-one but working with an extraordinary team,” Ms Williams said.

“It was an easy decision to stay because there is a real sense of community and pride at the Whitton Malt House.”

Diana enjoying nature in regional Australia

“We all work hard out here but living regionally means having the Murrumbidgee River within 5km from my house where I can enjoy a knock off drink after work with my feet in the water. That’s about as blissful as it can get,” Ms Williams said.

Ms Rynski said that new technologies and remote working had 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,” Ms Rynski said.

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.

To read NAB’s Regional and Agribusiness Horizons Report, click here.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.