Israel Maintains High Happiness Ranking Despite Challenges

By Aryeh Stern

Despite enduring five months of the ongoing war against the Hamas, Israel secured the fifth position in the 2024 World Happiness Report, released on Wednesday.

The annual report evaluates the happiness levels of 143 countries, considering factors such as life satisfaction, positive emotions, and negative emotions.

Anat Panti, a happiness policy researcher at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, highlighted, “Even amid the significant challenges faced this year, Israel’s continued presence in the top five of the global happiness index underscores the stability of life satisfaction within the country. This stability is attributed to factors such as economic strength, social engagement, and quality healthcare services, which are enduring qualities rather than fleeting emotions.”

Finland retained its title as the happiest country for the seventh consecutive year, with Israel ranking behind Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden.

Conversely, Afghanistan surpassed Lebanon as the least happy country in the rankings.

Panti said, “To provide a comprehensive perspective on happiness levels worldwide, the report’s editors consider average life satisfaction over the past three years when determining rankings. Therefore, Israel’s consistent placement in fifth position reflects its sustained life satisfaction over recent years, including periods such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected countries globally.”

The report, compiled with data from the U.S. market research company Gallup and analyzed by international experts led by the University of Oxford, incorporates various metrics including self-assessed life satisfaction, healthy life expectancy, freedom, GDP per capita, and social support.

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