A study has found Australians are far from the happiest people in the world, with the country ranked 139th on a worldwide index.
Citizens of the tiny south Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu have been ranked as the happiest in the Happy Planet Index, which has been compiled by the British think-tank, New Economics Foundation (NEF).
The study measured life satisfaction, life expectancy and environmental footprint, which is the amount of land required to sustain the population and absorb its energy consumption.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica and Panama complete the top five.
Zimbabwe came bottom of the 178 countries ranked, below second-worst performer Swaziland, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ukraine.
The Group of Eight industrial powers meet in Russia this weekend but do not have much to smile about, according to the index.
Italy came out best in 66th place, ahead of Germany (81), Japan (95), Britain (108), Canada (111), France (129), the United States (150) and Russia, in 172nd place.
NEF policy director Andrew Simms says the index “addresses the relative success or failure of countries in giving their citizens a good life, while respecting the environmental resource limits on which all our lives depend”.