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Israel Ahead of UK in World Happiness Index

Alondon staff (22/03/2016)

Israel listed at 11th place of 157 countries while the UK ranked 23rd in the annual report released by Columbia University

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Israel ranked 11th in the 2016 World Happiness Report which lists 156 countries by their happiness levels. The report, which was released by Columbia University, ranks the UK further down the list at just 23 after slipping two places from 2015.

The report, prepared at by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. It was first published in 2012, with updates in 2013, 2014, and 2015, providing plenty of comparative data to show how countries' happiness has changed over time.

In this year’s World Happiness Index's annual rating, Denmark leads the way, after ranking 3rd on 2015’s ranking, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland.

Israel at 11, UK behind at 23. Photo: screenshot from

Syria, which has been torn by a bloody and tragic civil war for the past five years comes in next to last while only Burundi ranks lower and dead last at 156.

According to the report Israel ranks happier than the United States (13th place), the United Kingdom (23rd), France (32nd) and Italy (50th).

Israel stands firm at the 11th place for the third consecutive year. On the other end of the spectrum are failing African countries Benin, Togo, Rwanda and Liberia, as well as Syria and Afghanistan, which also suffered a long war.

"This is a strong message for my country, the United States, which is very rich, has gotten a lot richer over the last 50 years, but has gotten no happier," said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, head of the SDSN, regarding the American place outside the top ten.

The report ranks 157 countries according to several criteria: GDP, social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice and generosity. This is its fifth year. Since 2012, when it was first published, five countries appointed ministers who were responsible for their countries’ happiness: Bhutan, Ecuador, Scotland, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.


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