PanamaTimes

Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

2024 World Happiness Rankings Revealed

The latest World Happiness Report places Finland at the apex for the seventh consecutive year, leading a dominance of Nordic countries noted for their high happiness levels.
For the first time, the ranking features age-specific happiness categories, uncovering a concerning trend of declining life satisfaction among young people, particularly in North America. This decline contributed to the U.S. falling out of the top 20, with rising happiness scores in several Eastern European countries also influencing the shift.

In celebration of the United Nations International Day of Happiness on March 20, the report assesses global happiness using survey data from over 140 countries, ranking them based on factors such as GDP, social support, and health. Finland, known for its strong social systems and equality, is joined in the top five by Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and surprisingly, Israel, where recent conflict has had less of an impact due to averaging of data over three years.

Lower in the rankings, the U.S. (23rd) and Germany (24th) were edged out by countries such as Czechia (18th) and Lithuania (19th). Notably, Lithuania leads in happiness among those under 30, though it drops to 44th for those over 60. The U.S. and Canada see a stark happiness gap between young and elderly populations, a discrepancy not attributed to education or health but likely influenced by negative information consumption among the youth.

Despite these findings, global youth happiness generally increased from 2006 to 2019 and has remained stable. The pandemic sparked benevolence across all ages, with youths continuing to engage in acts of kindness.

Top 10 happiest countries:

1. Finland

2. Denmark

3. Iceland

4. Sweden

5. Israel

6. Netherlands

7. Norway

8. Luxembourg

9. Switzerland

10. Australia

Remaining notable placements include New Zealand (11th), Canada (15th), and the UK (20th). At the lower end, Afghanistan continues to rank last, with Lebanon, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, and Congo also towards the bottom.
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