Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Israel Is World's 8th Happiest Country; USA Is 14th

Despite security concerns, astronomical real estate prices, and claims that Israelis typically like to complain, it turns out that Israelis are actually happy.

Ynet, the online version of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, reported last summer that Forbes magazine published a Gallup poll conducted between 2005 and 2009 that showed Israel's happiness index ranked it eighth, compared to the US and the UK, which came in 14th and 17th.

In the Ynet article, Itamar Eichner wrote:
Thousands of respondents from 155 countries participated in the study by ranking their level of satisfaction in life on a number of different parameters on a scale of 1 to 10. In addition, they answered questions regarding how they felt the previous day as a way of measuring "daily experiences" and scored things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged.
According to the responses they provided, the respondents were divided into three groups: thriving, struggling, and suffering.  The poll showed that no less than 62% of Israel's citizens are "thriving", in other words are contented with their lives and are happy, while just 3% were found to be "suffering."
Israel outranked countries like the US and Britain as well as all of its neighbors in the Middle East.  Israel shares eighth place with three other countries -- Australia, Canada, and Switzerland.  Leading the list are Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.  Ranked at the bottom of the list mainly are the African countries.  Togo was found to be the least happy country.
The poll also found that there is a connection between the wealth of the country and its level of happiness.
Israel21c, a non-profit educational foundation that identifies, researches and reports on how Israelis create, innovate, improve and add value to the world, sent a reporter into the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to interview Israelis on their reaction to the Forbes listing.  Enjoy!

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