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Israel ranked fourth happiest country in world

A U.N.-sponsored study rated social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

Jews celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Israeli capital, May 29, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Jews celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Israeli capital, May 29, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel is the fourth happiest country in the world, according to a report produced by the U.N.-affiliated Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Based on Gallup World Poll data, the study leverages six key factors to help explain variation in self-reported levels of happiness across the world: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The report was released on Monday to mark the International Day of Happiness, which was established when the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/281 in June 2012.

The report named Finland the happiest country in the world for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands.

This year’s Happiness Report found that despite several overlapping crises, most populations around the world continue to be remarkably resilient, with global life satisfaction averages in the COVID-19 years 2020-2022 just as high as pre-pandemic.

“The happiness movement shows that well-being is not a ‘soft’ and ‘vague’ idea but rather focuses on areas of life of critical importance: material conditions, mental and physical wealth, personal virtues and good citizenship,” said Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, who worked on the study.

“We need to turn this wisdom into practical results to achieve more peace, prosperity, trust, civility—and yes, happiness—in our societies,” he added.

Afghanistan and Lebanon were the two unhappiest countries in the survey, with average life evaluations more than five points lower (on a scale running from 0 to 10) than in the 10 happiest countries.

Rounding out the top 10 countries on the list were Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.

The United States ranked 15th, Britain 19th and France 21st.

Israel placed ninth in last year’s report.

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