A poll published in Forbes magazine shows that Israelis feel a sense of well-being to a degree rivaled by few other peoples in the world. Only the Scandinavians, their senses perhaps distorted by seasonal extremes of daylight, have a more cheery self-perception.
The Gallup poll ranked 155 countries on their inhabitants' sense of well-being, based on in-person and phone surveys. The in-depth poll was conducted between 2005 and 2009, and measured two types of well-being. First pollsters asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction with their lives, and ranked their answers using a "life evaluation" score from 1 to 10. Then they asked questions about how each subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed researchers to score their "daily experiences"--things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged. Subjects who reported high scores were considered "thriving."
The poll showed that 62 percent of Israelis believe that they're "thriving" -- tying the Jewish State with Australia, Canada, and Switzerland and well ahead of fellow human beings in the United States and the United Kingdom.