Israel among Top 10 countries in ‘happiness rating’

Is happiness really all that? It depends on how you define it.

The business writers at 24/7 Wall St. have modified a new “Better Life” index, with its multiple measures including “life satisfaction,” and added their own economic and political measures. The result is a Top 10 happy countries list that doesn’t include the USA.

The new Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Better Life Index has 11 measures of quality of life including housing, income, jobs, community, education, the environment, health, work-life balance and life satisfaction.

The 24/7 folks made life satisfaction “the cornerstone because it is as good a proxy for ‘happiness’ as the survey provides.” Then the writers factored in “economic and socio-political realities” such as debt as a percentage of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and employment rate because, as they say, “Money alone doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure helps. ”

Given our current malaise about the economy, and our long-standing sense of rampant individualism, is it any surprise that an index that gives high scores for the cultural concept of a social safety net leaves the USA out of the top ranking?

Among the top findings, folks doing the happiness dance live in places where they…:

… Get loads of social services without having to work too hard. Having abundant natural resources, a thriving services sector and a fairly homogeneous population helps as well.

… support employment, education and make health care widely available.

… have a good balance of work and leisure time.

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Categories: Europe, Human Rights, Israel

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