Canberrans are among the happiest people in the country, new data has shown.
Research from a team at Bond University in Queensland has revealed the ACT is the 24th happiest area in terms of quality of life out of 540 local government areas across Australia.
Dubbed The Happiness Project, the university team used data and census findings in categories that make up quality of living, such as housing affordability, wealth, community and work-life balance, to determine which areas are the happiest.
Overall, the ACT scored 7.8 out of 10 for overall quality of life, scoring 9.3 for accessibility, nine out of 10 for wealth and 8.8 for employment.
However, the national capital didn't score highly when it came to housing affordability, coming in at 5.5, or safety at 5.7.
Nillumbik, in Melbourne's outer suburbs, came out on top in the data, with an overall score of 8.6, followed by Ku-ring-gai Council on Sydney's north shore with 8.4.
Booroondara in Melbourne came in third on the list, with Surf Coast near Geelong and Mosman in Sydney's north rounding out the top five.
While Canberra came in 24th in the overall list, it was just beaten by the nearby Yass Valley region, which scored 7.9 out of 10.
Just over the border, Queanbeyan scored slightly lower, coming in at 7.2.
Caroline Graham, a senior teaching fellow in communications and creative media at Bond University, said the project highlighted some large inequalities across the country.
"One of the biggest things we found was there's still a gulf between the quality of life in the city and regional and remote areas," she said.
"Regional and remote areas tend to be strong in areas such as community and education and the cost of housing is a bit lower, but a lot of regional areas are facing barriers like access to services."
Ms Graham said Canberra was an anomaly compared to other metropolitan areas across Australia.
"Canberra had a high score for community, which is quite rare for metro areas, but it also had low scores for the cost of housing and safety," she said.
"The category of safety was an interesting one, because it was one of the only categories across the country that varied enormously, and it was almost as likely for city and country areas to have the same levels. The myths about crime did not come through."
Lyneham resident David Oliver moved to Canberra last year and said he had never been happier.
The 37-year-old grew up in Cowra before spending time in suburban Perth and Sydney, and said for him, Canberra has a better quality of life.
"After spending time in suburbia, I wanted to reconnect with the lifestyle I had growing up, and that's exactly what the bush capital offers. It's lots of space and fresh air," Mr Oliver said.
"Back in Sydney a lot of time was spent commuting and trying to squeeze in other activities and it was very time consuming, and also quite expensive as well.
"It's nice being back in Canberra and having everything 10 to 15 minutes away by car."
While the university study set out to map areas of quality of life that affect happiness, Ms Graham said there was still a large distinction between the two.
"So much of happiness has intangible elements to it, rather than just quality of life measurements," she said.
"Overall, Australia is a fortunate country."