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Migrants in Australia among the happiest in the world: report

Australia ranks 6th for the happiness of its migrants and 10th for the happiness of the overall population.

Migrants in Australia are among the happiest in the entire world, according to a new report. The World Happiness Report puts Australia at number six for the happiness of foreign-born migrants, behind Iceland and New Zealand, with Finland at the top of the list.

The World Happiness Report 2018 is based on Gallup World Poll that surveyed 156 countries for the happiness of overall population averaged for 2015-17 and 117 countries for the happiness of the immigrants between 2005 and 2017.  

According to the report, there are 244 million people in the world living outside the country of their birth and there are another 700 million people who would like to migrate. It says people moving to happier countries than their own tend to gain happiness.

Indian migrant Harkanwaljit Singh agrees with this finding of the report.

“I can’t complain about my life here. Everything is good and I have been able to balance my work and family life. I can spend time with my family, go to a beach and enjoy my weekends,” says Mr Singh.

Mr Singh says he wouldn’t have been able to afford many things in India he currently has.

“It’s a high-wage economy that gives people more purchasing power. Things I consider necessities here would have been an unaffordable luxury in India for me.”

But the lack of job security, high mortgage and economic uncertainty are the factors that are a cause of mental stress for him.

Mr Singh, like hundreds of thousands of other migrants, came to Australia as a student and then became a permanent resident and subsequently an Australian citizen. But, he says, his experience as an international student would negate the level of his happiness of those were to be factored in.

“I faced far too many barriers when I came here [as a student], it was very difficult to get a job because students can work only 20 hours [per week] and not many employers want you unless you can be there for him every day.

“I paid twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars in fees, had rents to pay, study and work for very little money. Exploitation was so rampant that I worked for $35 per day at a car wash. All these things make for a very-very bad experience,” he says.

Australia is considered a highly attractive immigration destination with a net annual immigration intake of 190,000.

The WHR 2018 says one of the factors determining immigrants’ happiness is how accepting the people of the host country are. Australia is ranked tenth for the happiness of its overall population which has slipped one place since last year.

The report also notes that among the ten happiest countries of the world, Australia has the highest percentage of migrants at 28% of its population.