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Which Federal Electorate is Australia's happiest? (The wellbeing of all 150 seats ranked)

06 Jun 2016
The South Australian federal seat of Mayo is the nation’s happiest electorate, with Blaxland in Sydney’s west taking the wellbeing wooden spoon.

The latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey published today has examined life satisfaction across all 150 federal seats ahead of the upcoming election, finding rural electorates dominate the top of the wellbeing league table, while big city suburbs bring up the rear.

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 for personal wellbeing. (See attached media release for supporting graphs).

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).

“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,” Deakin University senior research fellow Delyse Hutchinson said.

The findings are drawn from more than 24,000 responses to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index over the past 10 years. The index, a joint project of Australian Unity and Deakin University, evaluates satisfaction with life across a range of areas– standard of living, health, achievement, personal relationships, safety, community connection and future security. A personal score out of 100 is recorded, with the national mean being 75.37.

Dr Hutchinson noted the latest study has also taken a deeper look at ten marginal seats that will help determine the July 2 federal poll, including a new survey of 2000 people taken in March to gauge their personal wellbeing.

Among these seats, (the five most marginal on each side of the post-2013 election Mackerras Pendulum), the electorate of Parramatta recorded the lowest personal wellbeing score (73.86), while the regional Victorian seat of Bendigo (77.31) had the highest.

Overall, the marginal seats, whether Coalition-held or Labor-held had significantly lower average wellbeing than the general population, though Dr Hutchinson said it was impossible to say that personal wellbeing was influenced by living in a marginal seat.

“Nevertheless, this information may have some interest to marginal seat candidates as they campaign through to July 2,” Dr Hutchinson said.


The full report can be viewed at:

For further information please contact:

Dr Delyse Hutchinson (0425 218 628) or


Stephen Lunn, Australian Unity, (0401 704352), or

Media contactsDownload release (pdf)