Israel is the 11th happiest country in the world, according to a 2017 World Happiness Report published by the United Nations on Monday.
The report, released on World Happiness Day, attempts to quantify each nation’s happiness, which it defines as “the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.” It draws data from the responses of some 3,000 individuals in each of more than 150 countries, who were asked to evaluate their current lives on a scale of 0-10, with 0 representing the worst possible life and 10 the best.
While Israel ranked 14th in 2012, the first year the report was released, it has ranked 11th in each subsequent year. The latest ranking put it ahead of the United States (14), Germany (16), Belgium (17), and the United Kingdom (19).
Norway was the top-ranked country this year, moving up from the fourth spot the previous year.
Avinoam Bar-Yosef, the head of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute, wrote last year that Israelis were happy despite the challenges facing them because they “take comfort in looking back and savoring how much has been achieved, how sovereignty over the land of their forefathers was reclaimed.”
“At least 60% of the Israeli population, now eight million, are Jewish immigrants or their children. Jews from more than 90 countries, of all colors and walks of life, are united in one society. They cherish the sense of self-determination,” he added. And while Jews make up the majority of Israelis across the state, Arabs and Jews overall coexist peacefully, “despite the frictions.”
[Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90 ]