Israel Ranked 4th Happiest Place to Live on Earth
Despite being on the verge of a constitutional crisis that has people talking of civil conflict, the State of Israel moved up to the fourth spot on the United Nations’ World Happiness Report released recently. Finland took the top honor of the world’s happiest country, then Denmark and Iceland after that.
The UN report examines citizens’ life expectancy, individual freedoms, GDP per capita, corruption levels of government, health, and other factors in determining the rankings. The world poll is conducted by Gallup. It is a survey of life-evaluation data for 137 countries and territories.
The Jewish state has been steadily rising in the ranks, moving from 12th in 2021 to 9th in 2022. Its move to the top five puts it just behind three Nordic European countries that enjoy great economic and political stability. Israel’s spot in fourth place stands out because it comes at a time when the start-up nation is experiencing a great deal of internal and external turmoil.
Israelis have learned how to laugh in the midst of crisis. She was born in war when five neighboring Arab nations attacked after declaring Independence on May 14, 1948. She has survived wars and waves of terrorism. Still, Israelis find ways to enjoy life. Israelis make less than most Westerners, but have a higher cost of living. But through worldwide recessions, Israel markets have remained steady.
“A vibrant economy is a key factor when it comes to how citizens perceive the level of satisfaction in their lives,” said Anat Fanti, Israeli author of a book about what makes people and nations happy. “Life expectancy and level of social support also help explain Israel’s high marks.” Fanti says that Israel bounced back quickly after the pandemic, and that contributes to people’s perceived levels of happiness.
It is not yet known how or if the current unrest in Israel will affect its ratings for 2024.
The United States climbed up to 15th happiest. And Afghanistan and Lebanon (on Israel’s. northern border)—two nations in societal collapse—were ranked as the world’s most unhappy places to live.