Bond University’s ‘Happiness Index’ gave Ku-ring-gai some of the best ratings for safe and happy living in Australia. The project is a large-scale data matching initiative which uses more than 17,000 data points to investigate the geography of advantage and disadvantage across Australia. The ‘Happiness Index’ analyses data including Census findings on nine key lifestyle factors including housing affordability, education, community, jobs, wealth, accessibility, work-life balance, health and safety. The project’s intent is to establish what areas in Australia are doing well on lifestyle aspects, whether through their volunteering rates, educational achievements or low crime rates. The project also examines the initiatives, programs and structures that might contribute to a high quality of life.
Along with Woollahra, Ku-ring-gai scored the highest out of 540 areas on safety with a perfect 10 out of 10. Ku-ring-gai also scored highly in other categories including the overall best quality of life and educational achievements. Other local areas that scored high on the Happiness Index also included Ryde, Hornsby, Willoughby, North Sydney and Mosman. Arguably one of the most interesting trends from the data is that the biggest factor associated with an overall quality of life is not geography or wealth – rather it is education. With this in mind, there is no question that Ku-ring-gai has a plethora of excellent schools, universities and other education precincts within its grasp.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said Ku-ring-gai’s parks and sporting fields, natural environment and proximity to good schools, the city and beaches were some of the factors that contributed to the high satisfaction score. “I’ve always believed that Ku-ring-gai is a wonderful place to raise a family and this study certainly underlines this”.