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March 16, 2016 3:15 pm

Israel Ranks 11 on List of World’s Happiest Countries

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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The Israeli flag. The Jewish state is listed as the 11th happiest country in the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli flag. The Jewish state is listed as the 11th happiest country in the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel took the number 11 spot in the just-released 2016 World Happiness Report, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.

The annual report uses a variety of criteria to measure and assess citizens’ happiness, including health, access to medical care, family relations, job security, political freedom and levels of corruption in their government. The US came in behind the Jewish state, in 13th place, while the UK ranked 23rd, falling two spots from last year. Syria and Burundi rounded off the list as the least happiest countries.

Among the 157 countries on the list, Denmark came out on top, based on its relatively high Gross Domestic Product, good health, high life expectancy and social support, the Daily Mail reported. The Scandinavian country does not deal with many natural disasters and faces minimal corruption in its government. Much of its tax revenue goes to education and healthcare, which is free. Students in Denmark are given monthly grants for up to seven years, and many Danes feel reassured that the state will support them if they lose their jobs or get sick, according to Daily Mail.

“We have no worries,” said Knud Christensen, 39, a social worker from Copenhagen. “And if we do worry, it’s about the weather. Will it rain today, or remain gray or will it be cold?” He added, “[Danes] are happy with what they get. [They] have no great expectations about what they do or what happens to them.”

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Switzerland ranked the second happiest place — falling from first place last year — followed by Iceland, Norway and Finland.

The report was released ahead of the UN’s World Happiness Day on March 20. The first World Happiness Report was released in 2012.

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