Making the move to improve your well-being

Maybe the grass is greener on the other side. A recent report by the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute found that moving within Australia can lead to improved subjective well-being (SWB). The study followed 2,474 people between the ages of 25-60 for up to four years before and after their residential migration, defined as a move within Australia of 25km or further.

The study polled participants on their earnings as well as SWB – defined throughout the study as ‘life satisfaction’ – before and after moving. What did it find? That many people could benefit from a little change in scenery.

SWB and money

Relative to the years prior, both males and females reported higher SWB after they’d moved. For males, this might be due to increased earnings. Males experienced more significant wage increases than females after moving.

Women, however, don’t seem as affected by their salary, reporting improved SWB regardless of whether their pay had gone up. Overall, women experienced higher SWB than their male counterparts, indicating that moving had a greater effect on their life satisfaction than it did for men.

What do you stand to gain by moving?

How much happier might relocating make you? In the first year after moving, those surveyed reported a SWB increase comparable to that of getting married.

It’s important to note that dissatisfaction before moving might contribute to a major spike in SWB afterwards. Had those surveyed been happy before moving, the contrast might not be as notable.

Migrating to, or within, Australia can go a long way to improving SWB. Year after year, Australia ranks very well in quality of life, according to the OECD’s Better Life Index, which measures factors like income, environmental quality, health, housing, education, SWB and social connections.

For many, moving home can immediately boost well-being. For many, moving home can immediately boost well-being.

An overwhelming 95 per cent of Australians feel they have someone they can rely on in time of need, and life expectancy at birth is around 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average. Overall, Australians rank their happiness a 7.3 grade on a ten-point scale, compared to the OECD’s average of 6.5. Australia is a great place to migrate to, but if you’re already lucky enough to live here, you’ll want to think about where in Australia ticks most of your happiness boxes.

Ready to relocate?

A massive country, Australia has a wealth of real estate options. If you want to improve your SWB, consider what makes you happy. Do you prefer urban life in Sydney, the sunny weather of northern Queensland, or are you keen to move out to the wild west?

Finding the right mortgage broker is the first step in any home-buying experience.