Come to Israel! Jewish State Ranked as 18th Best Place in the World to Live

“Surely God is good to Israel!” (Psalm 73:1)

According to the UN’s 2015 Human Development Index (HDI), released Monday, Israel ranks as the 18th best country in the world to live in, beating, among many others, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Japan, and Austria.

The HDI, which is released every year, is a composite statistic measuring the indicators for life expectancy, education, and income per capita in 185 UN member states, plus Hong Kong and the Palestinian territories, making for a total of 188 countries on the list. Israel is ranked 18 out of 188, moving one spot up since last year.

Number one on the list, for the twelfth year in a row, is Norway. Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands fill out the top five spots. The US, which has moved down three spots from last year’s ranking, comes in at number eight, followed by Canada.

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The highest-ranked Arab country, Qatar, came in at 32, followed by Saudi Arabia at 39 and the UAE at 41, all of whom beat Russia at 50. Palestine ranked at 113, down three spots from last year’s ranking but still beating 75 other countries in quality of life, including South Africa, Morocco, and India. Coming in last as the worst country to live was the African nation of Niger.

Israel’s life expectancy of 82.4 years is actually higher than several better-ranked countries, including number one, Norway (81.6 years), number three, the Netherlands (81.6), number six, Germany (80.9)  and number eight, the US (79.1). Its expected years of education, 16, holds its own with the average number for other high-ranking countries. However, Israel lags behind in gross national income per capita.