Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).
The U.S. is the 15th happiest country of the 158 covered by the survey, which obtained its data primarily from the Gallup World Poll. That puts the U.S. just behind Mexico (14) but ahead of Brazil (16), Britain (21), Japan (46), Russia (64), China (84), and Iran (110).
Greece suffered the biggest decrease, followed by Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. As for those at the bottom, their unhappiness probably has a lot more to do with poverty and violence.
According to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which was launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2012, social cohesiveness is hugely important to a society's happiness. Iceland's high level of trust helped it stay happy despite a serious financial crisis, while Spain, Italy, and Greece tumbled in the happiness rankings in part because they lacked the cohesiveness to pull through their financial troubles, say the authors.