Israel is ranked in eighth place in the OECD's Life Satisfaction Index, which measures how happy people are with their life in developed countries.
As in previous years, there is a strong correlation between economic prosperity, health and stable social conditions and the happiness of the countries measured on the index. Yet while Israelis seem to be relatively happy, Israel's general performance on the OECD's Better Life Index was less satisfactory, with a ranking of 25 out of a total of 36 countries.
The OECD measured data in 11 categories including education, health and employment. The study asked citizens to measure their happiness on a scale of one to 10. Denmark took the number one spot on the Life Satisfaction Index, followed by Norway, Holland Switzerland, Austria, Canada Australia and in eighth place – Israel.
When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Israelis gave it a 7.4 grade, higher than the OECD average of 6.7.
Israelis have a life expectancy of 81.7 years – sixth highest among OECD nations. The country also has a low obesity rate of 13.8%, while 81% of those surveyed report their health to be “good” or “very good.”
Despite the constant security concerns in the country, the homicide rate in Israel is in line with the OECD’s average of 2.1 murders per 100,000 people. In addition, 70% of Israelis surveyed feel safe walking home at night. Although Israelis work long hours, with 18.92% working at least 50 hours a week, life satisfaction remains high.
There is little difference in life satisfaction levels between men and women across OECD countries. This is true in Israel, where men gave their life a 7.4 grade and women 7.3.
Social status does, however, strongly influence subjective well-being. Whereas the bottom 20% of the Israeli population have a life satisfaction level of 6.6, this score reaches 8.0 for the top 20%.
In Israel, 63% of people reported having more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 72%.
The top 10 happiest countries also include Finland and Sweden while the US failed to make the top 10 and was ranked in 12th place.