Israel named world's 14th happiest country in annual UN report
Top countries, the report states, are found to "support well-being, including income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity."
By EYTAN HALON
Israel was named the 14th happiest country in the UN's eighth World Happiness Report, suggesting that even the coronavirus outbreak will struggle to wipe smiles off Israeli faces.Published annually by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network to coincide with International Day of Happiness on March 20, rankings are based on the Gallup World Poll surveys from 2017-2019.Top countries, the report stated, are found to "support well-being, including income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity."Tel Aviv was ranked the eighth happiest city worldwide, as the report focused on cities for the first time, basing the table on residents' self-evaluation of life quality. Tel Aviv and Zurich (4th) were the only top 10 cities not located in either the Nordic countries, Australia or New Zealand. Jerusalem was the 33rd happiest city.“The World Happiness Report has proven to be an indispensable tool for policymakers looking to better understand what makes people happy and thereby to promote the well-being of their citizenry,” said Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. “Time and again we see the reasons for well-being include good social support networks, social trust, honest governments, safe environments and healthy lives.”The happiest countries worldwide were Finland, Denmark and Switzerland, the report found. At the opposite end of the 153-country spectrum, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe were named the least happy nations. The Palestinian territories were ranked 125th worldwide, between Liberia and Uganda. The greatest increases in happiness were recorded by Benin, Togo and Hungary.AdvertisementIn the case of city dwellers, residents of Helsinki, Aarhus (Denmark) and Wellington are the most content worldwide. The unhappiest residents are found in Gaza City, Sanaa and Kabul."Generally, we find that the average happiness of city residents is more often than not higher than the average happiness of the general country population, especially in countries at the lower end of economic development," said Prof. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the Wellbeing Research Center at the University of Oxford.“But this urban happiness advantage evaporates and sometimes turns negative for cities in high-income countries, suggesting that the search for happiness may well be more fruitful when looking to live in more rural areas."