Australia’s ‘Best’ Place To Live Is Also The Place You Probably Don’t Want To Live

Aerial view of a typical Australian suburb and Toadie from Neighbours looking confused

Australia’s best place to live, you ask? Well surely it’s got to be New South Wales thanks to the Eastern coastline, Sydney city and stunning beaches, right? Perhaps Victoria thanks to the flourishing culture and nightlife?

I could go on but really, the point I’m trying to get across is that there are at least four states I would’ve chosen as Australia’s “best” before the actual winner, which is the Australian Capital Territory.

Now, no shade — I actually went to Canberra a couple of years ago and had a good time — it just doesn’t scream “best state to live in”, you know?

So how was this decision made? According to, it was done through a “national report card on community wellbeing across Australia” which measures the state or territory’s ability to meet its residents’ basic needs and how it creates “foundations for welfare”.

The report was released on Monday by the Centre for Social Impact.

The ACT has held this title (with this report, at least) for several years, and, in the most recent, scored particularly high on water and sanitation, personal safety, and access to basic and advanced knowledge. Interesting.

Victoria was second place thanks to good scores in shelter, health and wellbeing, access to advanced knowledge and personal safety. NSW was third with decent marks in nutrition, basic medical care, and water and sanitation.

Well there ya go. Here I was judging states based on their beaches and curfews when there are far more important things to consider.

South Australia came fourth, Queensland fifth and Tasmania sixth. Western Australia came seventh and Northern Territory eighth, with the NT and WA historically getting lower scores in previous reports because of smaller populations, larger ratios of First Nations people and isolation.

CSI director Danielle Logue said these results “paint a worrying picture of a fragmented country where your health, welfare and happiness can be heavily influenced by your location,” as per

“We hope that by looking at what’s happening in different states and territories as well as the country overall, we can provide insights into what policy interventions are working in what communities and where,” Logue said.

Interestingly, it was only last month that Sydney was declared the best place to live in the world — yes, worldbased on a survey around perception.

What I’m saying here is that these surveys and reports dictate different results based on the judgement criteria. That being said, this one by CSI is particularly interesting in discovering divides within Australia itself that have nothing to do with healthy rivalry.