Israel has retained its spot as the 11th-happiest country in the world for the fifth year running, according to this year’s UN annual World Happiness Report.
Israel’s happiness index moved down only 0.134 percentage point. Within the report, Israel ranked 12th in the “happiness for the foreign-born,” meaning immigrants. One of the poll’s examples showed that Russian immigrants who moved to Israel have a much happier and better life than in the former country.
“A noteworthy finding is that Russia-born people in Israel evaluate their lives much more positively after migration but simultaneously experience adverse outcomes in terms of affect,” the report explained. “These results are in line with the relatively high life evaluations but the relatively low emotional well-being of Israel’s native population.”
According to the report, the life span of Israelis also increased by 3.1 years between 2000 and 2015, from 69.7 to 72.8.
Israel’s position was influenced by its health system. The report placed the country in sixth place, as a result of its improvement in life expectancy, after Japan, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland and Canada.
However, it also placed Israel among the countries that are less tolerant of migrants and that do not accept migrants openly – this most probably as a result of Israel’s policy toward Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and their impending deportation.
Among other Middle Eastern countries that ranked, the Palestinian territories ranked 104th, while Syria ranked 150th out of 156 countries surveyed, Lebanon in 88th and Jordan in 90th position.
Meanwhile, the US slipped from 14th place in 2017 to 18th place this year. It was Finland that clinched first place, as Norway – last year’s winner – went to second place. Among the top 10 countries included were Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
During an interview with Fox News’ Mark Levin last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on Israel’s success in the happiness ranking as a country – just days prior to the 2018 report.
“Israel is right there. It’s beating most of the Western countries – it’s No. 11.... [Israel’s ranking on the happiness index] keeps going up, and people say, ‘How can it be? It’s a country in this horrible neighborhood, you’ve got terrorism, you’ve got radical Islam, you’ve got challenges,’ but it comes up ahead of most countries in the world,” said Netanyahu.