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.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • I do eat kitniyot..but it hit me when I was trying to eat at ben sira and found it was closed-its probably not as good with out pita anyways. I think fluffy fresh pita is half the deal…

  • So if everyone is so happy, then the anticipated left-wing protests this summer in Israel are a non-starter.

    • Did I say everyone was happy Josh? No. No I didn’t. We’re in 14th place and not in 1st or second because there are still things we can do to make Israel a better place. Speaking strictly from the domestic front, we can put the kaybosh on stupid laws recently passed by the Knesset that serve only to put a chill on personal freedom. We can also strive to build a society where there’s less systematic corruption. These and other issues will likely fuel protests this summer, and the issues are as pressing, if not more pressing now than they were last summer. So in brief, no.


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