Unwelcome news for Americans: The United States is no longer among the 20 happiest countries in the world, according to new data from Gallup and its partners.

In the newly published World Happiness Report 2024, the U.S. fell out of the top 20 on the list for the first time in the report’s 12-year history. The U.S. now ranks 23rd, down from 15th last year.

The researchers say this is partly due to a deterioration in the outlook on life among Americans under 30.

“In the U.S., happiness, or subjective well-being, has declined across all age groups, but particularly among young adults,” Gallup CEO Ilana Ron Levey said in an email statement to CBS News, adding that social connections are a key factor these generational differences are in luck.

“The World Happiness Report and Gallup/Meta social connectivity data show that loneliness is highest among younger Americans. “It is widely accepted that social support and feelings of loneliness are influential factors in determining overall happiness, and these dynamics differ by age group,” she said. “The quality of interpersonal relationships can affect the well-being of younger and older people in different ways.”

Finland was ranked number one on the overall list of the happiest countries in the world for the seventh year in a row. The Top 10 in the latest report are:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Australia

However, if we look more closely at age, Lithuania ranks first among those under 30, while Denmark is the happiest country in the world among those over 60.

“The differences in the rankings by age highlight how much people’s life satisfaction ratings – which determine the rankings – vary between the world’s young and old,” the researchers said in a press release. “In countries like the US and Canada, for example, rankings for people aged 60 and over are at least 50 places higher than for people under 30. However, in many countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, the opposite is the case: the young are happier than the old.

At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan remains in last place in the overall happiness ranking.

The research team uses responses from people in more than 140 countries to rank the “happiest” countries in the world, based on people’s assessment of their overall satisfaction with their lives. To understand the differences observed between countries, they then look at six factors: the country’s healthy life expectancy, the economy (GDP per capita), the level of corruption, social support, generosity and freedom.

Gallup CEO Jon Clifton said the data from the report “offers more than just national rankings; they provide analysis and advice for evidence-based planning and policy making.”

The latest findings suggest that happiness has declined among 15- to 24-year-olds in North America, Western Europe, the Middle East/North Africa and South Asia since 2019, the researchers say.

“As we compile available data on the well-being of children and young people around the world, we have documented disturbing declines, particularly in North America and Western Europe. “Considering that children in some parts of the world are already experiencing the equivalent of a mid-life crisis, this requires immediate political action,” said Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the Wellbeing Research Center at Oxford and editor of the World Happiness Report.

A CBS News poll in December found that 21% of Americans described themselves as “very happy” and another 55% described themselves as “somewhat happy.” Those who said their family life was going well were far more likely to report overall satisfaction, as were those who said they had enough money to live comfortably.

The World Happiness Report – a partnership between Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the WHR editorial team – was released to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, celebrated on 20. March.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *