Photo Credit: Flash 90

Israel has been ranked the ninth happiest country in the world by the United Nations-sponsored tenth annual World Happiness Report, published Friday.

It is the highest ranking ever by the Jewish State, which ranked at 11 in 2021, and 14 in 2020.

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Israel was ahead of the US (ranked at 16), the UK (ranked at 17) and France (ranked at 20) among the 146 nations on the list.

The report may be accessed by clicking here.

Finland topped the list, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Norway. New Zealand ranked at 10.

Israel stands out as quite unique from the first nine of that list of mostly homologous countries.

Afghanistan was listed at the very bottom with Lebanon next to last. Belarus ranked at 65.

The first two partners with Israel in the Abraham Accords were considerably happier: Bahrain ranked in 21 and the United Arab Emirates ranked at 24. The latter two Accords partners still have a way to go: Morocco ranked at 100. China ranked at 72.

Sudan, the fourth partner to the Abraham Accords but one that did not develop its ties with Israel any further following the agreement, does not appear on the list, for unknown reasons.

More than halfway down the list, Russia ranked at 80, Ukraine ranked at 98, Iran ranked at 110 and Turkey ranked at 112.

The “Palestinian Territories” ranked at 122, slightly happier than those living in Egypt, which ranked at 129. Jordan was even less happy, ranking at 134.

The report was created following the July 2011 adoption by the UN General Assembly of Resolution 65/309 (“Happiness: Towards a holistic approach to development”).

It was initiated by Bhutan, with the intention of giving “more importance to happiness and well-being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development,” according to the Foreword of the report.

“Although the World Happiness Reports are based on a wide variety of data, the most important source has always been the Gallup World Poll, unique in its range and comparability of global annual surveys. Life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll provide the basis for the annual happiness rankings that have always sparked widespread interest,” the report notes.

“We were also grateful for the World Risk Poll data provided by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation providing access to the World Risk Poll. We also greatly appreciate data from the ICL-YouGov Behavior Tracker as part of the COVID Data Hub from the Institute of Global Health Innovation.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.