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US Drops in World Happiness Rankings as Those Under 30 Report Declining Well-Being
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By News
Published 1 month ago on
March 20, 2024

U.S. drops to 23rd in World Happiness Report due to lower well-being in Americans under 30, amidst global generational happiness shifts. (GV Wire Illustration/David Rodriguez)

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For the first time in its 12-year history, the United States has fallen out of the top 20 in the World Happiness Report, landing at 23rd place among over 140 nations surveyed.

This is a significant drop from 15th place in 2023. The decline is largely attributed to a decrease in reported well-being among Americans under 30, despite the U.S. ranking in the top 10 for happiness among those aged 60 and above.

Details of the World Happiness Report

The report, released Wednesday to coincide with the U.N.’s International Day of Happiness, revealed some striking findings, according to John F. Helliwell, a professor at the Vancouver School of Economics and founding editor of the World Happiness Report.

For the first time, the report analyzed happiness rates by age group, revealing significant variations in happiness levels among different age groups across countries.

Finland topped the list as the happiest country for the seventh consecutive year. Lithuania was deemed the happiest for those under 30, while Denmark was the happiest for those aged 60 and above.

Methodology of the Report

The report, a collaborative effort between Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the World Happiness Report’s editorial board, and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, is based on a three-year average of each population’s assessment of their quality of life. The data was collected after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with survey respondents answering questions from 2021-2023.

Generational Differences in Happiness

Ilana Ron Levey, Gallup managing director, suggests that social connections could be a key factor in generational happiness differences. She notes that different generations have varying levels of social connections, which can significantly impact happiness levels.

Declining Well-being in Other Regions

The report also highlighted declining well-being among 15-to-24-year-olds in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia since 2019. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, the director of Oxford’s Wellbeing Research Centre and an editor of the report, called for immediate policy action in response to these findings.

Read more at Time.

 

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