Australians appear to have ridden out the global financial crisis and the tough times relatively unscathed, according to a new report.
According to research undertaken by Melbourne University Australians in general have remained satisfied with their lot over the nine-year period between 2000 to 2009.
The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA) shows that the average satisfaction with life in Australia has remained stable, with teenagers starting out on life and those facing their retirement years the most satisfied.
Household income also grew in the 2008-09 financial year thanks to the stimulus package of the Rudd government.
The report said the package counteracted the negative effects of the global financial crisis with the median household income increasing by $2802.
The survey found however, that some families were feeling the pinch in late 2008, and turned to welfare to get by.
The most commonly reported financial problem was the struggle to pay utility bills on time.
Among those who lost their jobs during the economic downturn, the hardest hit were the skilled fulltime workers aged between 25 and 44 years in the construction and professional services industries.
The survey also found that while a person on a low income paid regular visits to their GP, they were less likely to visit a dentist.
The findings are consistent with the relatively low levels of government funding for dental health care compared with GP visits, which are either subsidised or fully funded through Medicare.