The United Nation’s first World Happiness Report ranked Israel as the 14th happiest country in the world. Conducted by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the report ranked Denmark in first place, the US in 11th place and the UK in 18th place. The bottom of the list went to Benin, Central African Republic, Togo and Sierra Leone – which, if you’ve ever been to Freetown’s Lungi International airport, well, the results are kind of understandable. The report notes:
…it is not just wealth that makes people happy: Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial.
The report described some of the whacky things that make people happy, like behaving well, job security, stable marriages and personal freedom. The report made no mention of quality hummus, but that was obviously an oversight. Apologies to those of you celebrating Passover and of the Ashkenazic persuasion, who because of antiquated adherence to rules forbidding the consumption of kitniyot, cannot enjoy Hummus right now. This wasn’t a dig. Seriously.