OECD Says Australians Live Long, Work Quite Hard

The OECD conducts a biannual Society At A Glance study to compare how its member countries shape up on a range of trends. According to the 2011 data, Australians stick out from the pack in a number of areas, including working hours and life expectancy.

The OECD calculates the amount of hours spent on paid and unpaid work for each member country. When the two numbers are added together, Australia falls pretty much in the middle of the pack. Unpaid work as a percentage of GDP is actually the highest in the study at 46%, but before we all start feeling uber-virtuous it’s worth noting that unpaid work includes cooking and shopping. Next time you’re worried about long work hours, console yourself with the thought that it would probably be worse if you lived in Japan, China or Korea.

According to the OECD calculations, the average life expectancy for Australians is 81.5 years, a figure outstripped only by Japan and Switzerland. That said, the overall OECD average is not that far behind at 79.3 years (countries with unpleasantly low life expectancies don’t tend to end up being OECD members by definition).


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