Report: Israel world’s 11th happiest country
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Report: Israel world’s 11th happiest country

New immigrants to Israel stepping out of the plane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Courtesy Nefesh B'Nefesh)

New immigrants to Israel stepping out of the plane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Courtesy Nefesh B’Nefesh)

(JTA) — Israel is the 11th happiest place in the world and happier than the United States, according to a new study.

Among the 156 countries ranked in the World Happiness Report conducted by University of British Columbia researchers, Israel placed 11th, two spots ahead of the United States.

Denmark was the happiest, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.

Interestingly, half the countries in the top 10 are Scandinavian and exposed to little daylight during the winter, a factor generally associated with depression.

The report, based on an analysis of data from the Gallup World Poll, showed Syria, Afghanistan and eight sub-Saharan countries as the 10 least happy places on earth to live. Most of these countries are confronting war and extreme poverty.

The report is based on such as factors as per-capita gross domestic product, social support, healthy life expectancy and freedom from corruption in government and business. It also factors in levels of inequality, with countries experiencing greater levels of inequality deemed less happy than more egalitarian ones.

It is also based on respondents’ assessments, on a scale of 0 to 10, of the quality of their lives.