It’s the loneliness for them. US drops out of 20 happiest places to live for first time

By greatbritton

The United States no longer ranks among the top 20 happiest countries.

Gallup and its partners ranked America No. 23 in the 2024 World Happiness Report, down from No. 15 last year. Wednesday’s report marks the first time the U.S. has not been in the top 20 since its initial release in 2012.

The report – which lacks international data – referenced an earlier study that found that loneliness in the U.S. peaked around age 20 and decreased with advancing age, indicating this “emerging epidemic” as one of the possible causes of the decline in happiness.

The U.S. flag waves in front of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. (Photo Credit: Adobe Stock)

“Loneliness is almost twice as high among the Millennials than among those born before 1965,” per the report.

The survey notes that younger people in North America also reported feeling less happy than they did in past years, and they are even less pleased than older people.

“For the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, happiness has decreased in all age groups, but especially for the young, so much so that the young are now, in 2021–2023, the least happy age group,” the report stated.

According to the survey, women’s satisfaction levels decreased more than men’s, with younger individuals experiencing a decline of “about three-quarters of a point.” It went on to say that negative feelings were more common in women than in males of all ages in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, particularly in women under 30.

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In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in life satisfaction trends among young people globally, with diverging patterns emerging across different regions. Gallup’s report indicates that while life satisfaction typically decreases from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood in most countries, young people aged 15–24 still report higher levels of life satisfaction than older adults worldwide. 

However, the gap is narrowing in Western Europe and has recently reversed in North America due to declining life satisfaction among the youth.

Gallup’s World Happiness Report typically assesses happiness levels based on factors such as perceptions of corruption, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and economic stability.

Finland is ranked as the No. 1 happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia.

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