The US Drops Out Of Top 20 Happiest Countries For First Time

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For the first time, the US is no longer in the top 20 happiest countries.


The World Happiness Report for this year is out, and it has some bad news for the US: The country is not in the top 20 for the first time since the index started. It looks especially bad for young Americans, whose happiness levels have dropped sharply since 2010.

Some things stay the same, though. For the seventh year in a row, Finland was named the happiest country in the world. The other four Nordic countries—Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland—were all easily in the top 10. The US fell from 15th to 23rd, a drop of seven spots. This is the first time since the rankings began 12 years ago that the US is not in the top 20.

The study listed these as the 20 happiest countries in the world:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Kuwait
  14. Austria
  15. Canada
  16. Belgium
  17. Ireland
  18. Czechia
  19. Lithuania
  20. United Kingdom

Lithuania was the only new country in the top 20. Happiness levels have recently gone up in a number of other former Soviet states. Most notably, scores for Serbia (37th) and Bulgaria (81st) have gone up the most since the surveys were first conducted in 2013.

Afghanistan is still at the bottom of the list. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, and Lebanon are next.

One of the most important and scary things that the study found was that young people in some parts of the world are becoming less happy. The happiness of young people around the world has grown. The research, on the other hand, shows that the happiness of 15–24-year-olds in North America, Western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia has gone down.

In the past, younger people have been happier with their lives than older people. But in North America, the trend has recently changed: older people are now happy than younger people. In Western Europe, too, a similar trend is beginning to show itself.

Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, an economist from Belgium at the University of Oxford and an Editor of the World Happiness Report, said in a statement, “We found troubling drops in the happiness of children and teens around the world when we put together all the available data.” The drops were most noticeable in North America and Western Europe.

“The fact that children are already going through what adults go through in some parts of the world is like having a midlife crisis,” he said.

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Not for the first time, studies have shown that young adults and teens in North America and Europe are becoming less happy. No one knows for sure what’s causing the trend, but economic uncertainty, bad job prospects, political division, a lack of important social connections, and the rise of technology are all things that have been mentioned.

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