Israel has been ranked as the world's 11th happiest country, just as it was last year, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday.
The East African Republic of Burundi ranked bottom in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report which ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
One of the reasons for Israel being ranked so high is the comparatively high standard of living. The 2018 OECD report, for instance, noted Israel’s “prudent” financial policy and comparatively low and dropping public debt, while highlighting that the average standard of living is improving thanks to higher employment rates.
As a result, the general satisfaction among the Israeli public with their lives when compared to the other 34 OECD countries is high.
Meanwhile, Finland rose from fifth place last year to oust Norway from the top spot. The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
The United States came in at 18th, down from 14th place last year. Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.
For the first time since it was started in 2012, the report, which uses a variety of polling organizations, official figures and research methods, ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries.
Finland took top honors in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status.
Thos in Syria who were born in foreign states were least happy in the country, which has been mired in civil war for seven years.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Professor John Helliwell of Canada’s University of British Columbia.
“Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries,” he said.
“Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”