That’s right – according to a recent survey by the Gallup organization, Israel is the eighth happiest country in the world, tied with Canada, Switzerland and Australia. This came as a surprise to many what with the tent protests, the price of cottage cheese, the situation in the territories and every other thing you hear about in the media. To what do we attribute all this happiness to? I mean the US was in 14th place, the UK in 17th, Iceland in 23rd – and they have Bjork! Researchers observed that the happiest countries were Scandinavian:
“The Scandinavian countries do really well,” says Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, which developed the poll. “One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. When we look at all the data, those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being.”
I don’t have a fancy degree in economics, but there seems to be a correlation between a relatively healthy GDP in tandem with a comprehensive social welfare system and “happiness.” But still… Israel? Happy?? Economics and social policy really don’t explain the whole story. My theory? All that stuff plus chummus. Fresh, yummy chummus everywhere, That’s really why we’re so happy.