Despite war, Israel ranks 5th in world happiness report

Despite five months of war with Hamas, Israel ranked fifth in the 2024 World Happiness Report, which was released on Wednesday.

The annual report ranked the happiness of 143 countries based on life evaluation, positive emotions, and negative emotions, among other factors.

Anat Panti, a happiness policy researcher at Bar-Ilan University University in Ramat Gan, explained, “Even this year, which was one of the most difficult in the country’s history, Israel is ranked in the top five of the international happiness index. The reason for this lies in the fact that life satisfaction, the index by which the level of happiness is measured, is a stable index over time and refers more to the characteristics of the country itself such as the strength of the economy, the degree of social involvement, and the health services in the country, than to fleeting feelings.”

Finland was ranked as the happiest country for the seventh consecutive year. Israel finished behind Denmark, Iceland and Sweden.

Afghanistan edged Lebanon as the least happy country.

“In order to give a more accurate picture of the state of happiness in all countries, the editors of the report refer to the average life satisfaction in the last three years when calculating the ranking. Therefore, Israel’s ranking in fifth place in the happiness report marks the stability in life satisfaction in Israel over the last few years, and not only in this one,” Panti explained.

“For example, even during the Corona period, which was traumatic all over the world, it was still possible to see that the top ten of the global happiness ranking includes more or less the same countries every year.”

The annual report is based on data from US market research company Gallup, and analyzed by international experts led by the University of Oxford.

In addition to self-assessed evaluations of life satisfaction, analysts also assess each country’s healthy life expectancy, freedom, GDP per capita, social support and more.

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