Israel is the fourth happiest country in the world, according to the 2023 United Nations' World Happiness Report which was released on Monday
The ranking, which is compiled annually on basis of life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll, sees Israel crack into the top five for the first time after ranking 9th in 2022 and 12th in 2021.
Anat Fanti, a Ph.D. candidate in Science, Technology and Society at Bar-Ilan University and author of 'Happiness in Demand: The Co-production of Happy People, Happy Organizations and Happy States', says that the Jewish state's top-five finish can be largely credited to its swift post-pandemic economic recovery.
"A vibrant economy is a key factor when it comes to how citizens perceive the level of satisfaction in their lives," she says. "Life expectancy and level of social support also help explain Israel's high marks."
The rankings were put together prior to the judicial reform protests that have rocked Israeli society over the last few months and might knock the country a few pegs down the list.
The report has been published every year since 2011, shortly before the International Day of Happiness on March 20.
People from each country are interviewed and asked to rate their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, considering factors such as the level of support provided by their government during difficult times, the degree of freedom in their country, and the extent of corruption in their country.
Unsurprisingly, the top ten spots on the list are mostly occupied by Nordic nations. Finland was ranked first for the sixth consecutive year, with Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway all ranking high.
With the war between Russia and Ukraine now in its second year, both countries have seen their rankings drop perciptiously.
While Ukraine's 92nd finish is understandable given the number of bombings they're seeing on a daily basis and the unimaginable loss of life that accompanies it, Russia's placement at 70 is explained by the mass exodus of citizens fearing they'll be drafted into President Vladimir Putin's war, creating very long lines at Russia's borders with neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, even though the Taliban has taken total control of Afghanistan and its society, the fact that Afghanistan is ranked dead last on the global happiness list shows that the militant group still has a long way to go in terms of fostering benevolence among its citizens.