How happy is Ipswich? University rates region's life quality

POOR health and housing has resulted in Ipswich being ranked as one of the most unhappy regions in southeast Queensland.

Bond University's Happiness Project ranked more than 500 local government areas across Australia and gave each an overall "quality of life" score.

The overall score was made up of nine sub-categories.

Ipswich ranked poorly, with a "quality of life" score of 4.9 from 10.

It compares to a "happy" score of 7.2 for Brisbane and an unhappier 3.9 for Somerset.

At 2.4, health was Ipswich's poorest category, with researchers considering barriers to healthcare, poor self-assessed health, the median age of death and major health risk factors including alcohol, smoking and obesity.

At 7.4, Ipswich's best score was for "work-life balance".

Researchers found the region had low rates of overwork and unpaid labour.

Mortgage and rental payments compared to wages and low-income housing stress led Ipswich to score a low 3.3 from 10 in the housing category.

Analysis found when a whole range of categories and factors were compared with quality of life scores, the strongest relationship was with education, followed by health, while wealth came in third. For education, researchers considered the level of educational participation and achievement, including trade qualifications.

Young adults in schooling and "learning or earning" rates were also considered. Ipswich scored 4 for education. Volunteering rates and cultural tolerance gave the region a "community score" of 3.3.

Employment was another positive category for Ipswich, with personal income, long-term and current unemployment rates and labour force participation leading to a score of 5.8.

For internet access and available transport, Ipswich had an accessibility rank of 7.3. Safety was the most difficult category to rank, with researchers relying on annual crime rates to give an indicative score. Ipswich scored 6.3 for safety.