What, me worry? UN ranks Israel among happiest countries on earth

United Nations report on world happiness ranks Israel the 14th-happiest country in the world, happier than 18th-place America.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The United Nations has shown again why Israel stands out among the nations – once again it is ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.

To mark the International Day of Happiness, the UN released its annual World Happiness Report on Friday, with Israel ranked as the 14th happiest country in the world – not as happy as top-ranked Finland, but in a much better mood than the 18th-ranked United States.

The report by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) was a breath of fresh air from the world body’s regular attacks against the Jewish state.

While it may be expensive to live there, Tel Aviv made the top 10 happiest cities coming in 8th place, while Jerusalem was 33rd. In contrast, the only North American cities that hit the top 20 cities of joyous residents were Toronto (13th), Washington (18th) and Dallas (19th).

The closest relatively happy city in the Middle East was Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, ranking a distant 35th.

First published in 2012, the comprehensive 202-page report ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be and is carried out by teams of experts from around the world in cooperation with the Gallup polling company in the United States.

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“The World Happiness Report has proven to be an indispensable tool for policymakers looking to better understand what makes people happy and thereby to promote the well being of their citizenry,” said UNSDSN director Jeffrey Sachs.

The report’s conclusions helped shoot down a common misconception that Israeli society is often perceived as divided, especially after three consecutive national elections in the past year produced inclusive results.

“Favorable social environments not only raise the level of well-being but also improve its distribution,” the report’s authors said. The report appeared to confirm the ability of Israel’s different, and often dissonant, sectors of society to unite in common cause when faced with adversity as in the current coronavirus pandemic.

“We conclude that social environments are of first-order importance or the quality of life,” the report said.

Israel carries out its own internal studies, with a recent report by the Central Bureau of Statistics showing that the vast majority of Israelis, in particular ultra-Orthodox Jews, feel that they live satisfying lives.