Nillumbik is Australia's happiest Shire

Published on 27 November 2018

Happy people

Nillumbik is officially the happiest Shire in Australia.

Findings from a landmark national research project by Queensland's Bond University found Nillumbik residents have the highest overall quality of life in Australia.

Not only are we the happiest and most content 61,000-plus people in the country, but Victoria-wide we have the highest quality of life; are the second ‘smartest’ shire and rank seventh for the highest number of couples.

In short, we’re happy, well-off, educated and loved-up.

The findings come as no surprise to Mayor Karen Egan, who says Nillumbik residents have long known the Shire is the best place to live in the country.

“We’ve always aimed to be recognised on a global platform as the most liveable Shire in Australia. This is just another step towards achieving this goal,” Cr Egan said.

“Nillumbik is unique in that it combines the best of the natural environment with the best that suburban culture and arts can offer.

 “Our Shire is characterised by lush, green open spaces, sports fields and active hiking and cycling trails along with a medley of wineries and boutique restaurants just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s CBD.

 “Nillumbik has one of the highest life expectancy rates in Victoria. In a nutshell, we’re going to be around for a long time, so we aim to make the most of it,” Cr Egan said.

The university’s Happiness Project analysed Census and other publicly available data to measure 540 Australian municipalities across nine key categories affecting quality of life incorporating housing affordability, education, community, jobs, wealth, accessibility, work-life balance, health and safety. Each life area was scored out of 10.

Other Victorian areas hot on Nillumbik’s heels to be the top LGAs in Australia, were the Shire of Boroondara (including the suburbs of Balwyn, Camberwell, Canterbury, Hawthorn and Kew), followed by the Surf Coast Shire (Torquay and much of the Great Ocean Road.)

On a state level, Nillumbik Shire takes out top place with the highest overall quality of life, and second place in the top ten smartest LGA’s. It also ranks as seventh in Victoria for the highest number of couples.

The university’s research proved education was the key to contentment.

Statistics from the Nillumbik Health and Wellbeing Profile 2016 show 36 per cent of residents aged 25-34 and nearly 32 per cent of those aged 35-54 had a bachelor or higher degree.

More Nillumbik men have jobs in trades and as managers than the average for males in metropolitan Melbourne.

A higher percentage of Nillumbik women are employed in the professional, clerical and community fields compared to females in metropolitan Melbourne.

Details: https://bond.edu.au/intl/happiness-project/rational