The UN’s 2018 Happiness Report shows that Israel is the eleventh-happiest country in the world, surpassing the United States and the UK.

Israel is the eleventh-happiest country in the world, which is very significant for a country that is constantly under military threat. Out of a scale from 1 to 10, Israel has an average of 7.19.

In comparison, Israel is doing better than other important countries such as the UK (19th with an average of 6.8) and the United States (18th with an average of 6.9.). Finland, Norway and Denmark lead the ranking with averages of 7.63, 7.59 and 7.56, respectively.

With regards to the Middle East, Israel is the best-placed country. The one closest to Israel is the United Arab Emirates in the 20th place, then Qatar (32nd), Kuwait (45th), Lebanon (88th), Jordan (90th), the Palestinian Territories (104th), Iran (106th), and Syria (150th).

The report suggests that GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy at birth, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption. Freedom to make life choices (income level) is the most important contributor to happiness on average, while healthy life expectancy at birth is the smallest contributor in this study.

On average, this highlights Israel’s economic progress, fostering of family values, respect for democratic values, Israelis’ commitment to charitable giving and Israel’s control 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.

It is interesting to note that the “Happiness Report” is used by the United Nations to judge equality within a society. Therefore, with the high score Israel receives each year from the UN, it strongly counters the “apartheid” accusations against Israel and shows that men, women and all religions thrive in the Jewish state.