Photo Credit: Admire Studios (Twyla Lapointe) via Flickr
Happy Israeli child

Norway has jumped from 4th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch, according to the World Happiness Report 2017.

Israel has retained its 11th place – same as last year. When the first UN ranking was issued, in 2012, Israel was in 14th place.

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The report was issued on Monday, March 20, which is World Happiness Day.

The US is “a story of reduced happiness,” according to the new report. In 2007 the US ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came in 19th place. The reasons, apparently, are declining social support and increased corruption.

It is those same factors – reliable social support and no corruption – that explain why the Nordic countries have been doing so much better.

So, here are the top 20 states in terms of happiness in 2017 (the figures in parenthesis represent each country’s combined score):

1. Norway (7.537)
2. Denmark (7.522)
3. Iceland (7.504)
4. Switzerland (7.494)
5. Finland (7.469)
6. Netherlands (7.377)
7. Canada (7.316)
8. New Zealand (7.314)
9. Australia (7.284)
10. Sweden (7.284)
11. Israel (7.213)
12. Costa Rica (7.079)
13. Austria (7.006)
14. United States (6.993)
15. Ireland (6.977)
16. Germany (6.951)
17. Belgium (6.891)
18. Luxembourg (6.863)
19. United Kingdom (6.714)
20. Chile (6.652)

And if you’re in a mean mood, here are the most miserable countries on earth for 2017, make sure to let your travel agent know:

135. Niger (4.028)
136. Malawi (3.970)
137. Chad (3.936)
138. Zimbabwe (3.875)
139. Lesotho (3.808)
140. Angola (3.795)
141. Afghanistan (3.794)
142. Botswana (3.766)
143. Benin (3.657)
144. Madagascar (3.644)
145. Haiti (3.603)
146. Yemen (3.593)
147. South Sudan (3.591)
148. Liberia (3.533)
149. Guinea (3.507)
150. Togo (3.495)
151. Rwanda (3.471)
152. Syria (3.462)
153. Tanzania (3.349)
154. Burundi (2.905)
155. Central African Republic (2.693)

Here are the scores for some of Israel’s regional neighbors:

35. Qatar (6.375)
37. Saudi Arabia (6.344)
69. Turkey (5.500)
74. Jordan (5.336)
88. Lebanon (5.225)
104. Egypt (4.735)
108. Iran (4.692)
117. Iraq (4.497)
152. Syria (3.462)

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