Israel 'world's 22nd best country'

Newsweek: Jewish state is best in the Middle East.

By DOV PREMINGER
August 18, 2010 04:29
2 minute read.
What you see when you google Israel

google israel 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Despite the security concerns and stifling heat, Israel is a pretty good place, or so says Newsweek, which published an article in its current issue that rated the Jewish state the 22nd best country in the world, and best in the Middle East, to live.

In the article, titled “The Best Countries in the World,” Israel was sandwiched between Spain and Italy, scoring seventh in health, 25th in quality of life, and 15th in economic dynamism.

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In a rating that would surprise many locals, Newsweek ranked Israel a respectable No.27 in political environment.

The next Middle East country on the list was Kuwait, at 40, while Jordan placed 53rd.

Iran and Syria also made the list, at 79 and 83, respectively.

The study followed a recently released Gallup poll that contended that Israel was the world’s eighth happiest country, published in Forbes magazine.

The “best countries” profiled in Newsweek’s study showed marked correlation with the “happiest countries” measured in Gallup’s poll, at least among the top-ranked contenders.

The United States and Britain placed 11th and 14th in the Newsweek study, compared with 14th and 17th on Gallup’s list.

Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands were all in the top 10 in Newsweek’s analysis, whereas they filled the top five spots in Gallup’s. Iran was 79th on Newsweek’s list, and 81th on Gallup’s.

While the Gallup survey took a bottom-up approach, questioning thousands of people in 155 countries over four years, the Newsweek study took “several months” to compile with the aid of a Nobel laureate, a McKinsey & Co. director, and various university professors.

The Newsweek study only listed the top 100 countries.

Newsweek ranked the “best countries” by how well they scored in five categories: Education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism and political environment. The rankings were based on international indices such as economic indicators, the Gini coefficient inequality measure, the Innovation Index, and the Global Peace Index.


Israel scored best in the health subranking, in which it was seventh of 100 nations.

Education was Israel’s worst category; it came in at No.41, despite having the highest ratio of university degrees to the population of any country in the world.

Because Israel does not administer TIMMS or PISA tests of children’s scholastic performance, its score in the study was calculated by regression analysis of literacy rate and average years of schooling.


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