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U.S. Drops Out of World's Top 20 Happiest Countries as Younger People Report Decrease in Happiness

“For the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, happiness has decreased in all age groups, but especially for the young," the report said

<p>Getty</p> The U.S. is no longer in the top 20 happiest countries in the world

Getty

The U.S. is no longer in the top 20 happiest countries in the world

The U.S. is no longer in the top 20 when it comes to the happiest countries in the world.

According to a new 2024 World Happiness Report released by Gallup and its partners on Wednesday, the U.S. trails countries like Canada, the U.K., Israel, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates when it comes to happiness.

The U.S. is placed at No. 23 in the rankings, down from No. 15 last year, while several other countries including Lithuania and Slovenia have pulled ahead to enter the top 20.

It's the first time the U.S. has fallen out of the top 20 since the World Happiness Report was first published in 2012, according to a press release.

The U.S. dropping down in the rankings can be partially attributed to the fact that younger people in North America have reported feeling less happy than previous years — and are even less happier than older people now, according to the report.

Related: This European Country Was Just Named the Happiest in the World — for the Fourth Time in a Row

“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.

The report shared that happiness for younger people dropped “about three-quarters of a point,” and that happiness levels dropped more for women than men. It further explained that in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, negative emotions were more frequent for women than men of all ages, especially under the age of 30.

It also noted that this was a big change from 2006-2010 when younger people were happier than those in midlife age groups and on par with older people over the age of 60.

Related: This Southern City Has Been Named the Best Place to Retire in the U.S.

One of the factors that may have contributed to the decrease in happiness in the U.S. is an “emerging epidemic of loneliness,” according to the report. The report noted an earlier study that found that peak loneliness in the U.S. was at 20-years-old and feelings of loneliness declined with age.

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

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Meanwhile in all global regions, the oldest members of the population “feel more socially supported” and “less lonely” than younger generations “despite having less frequent actual interactions with all groups except neighbors.”

The U.S. wasn’t the only country to drop in the rankings as Germany also dropped from No. 16 in 2023 to No. 24 this year.

The top ten happiest countries include Finland at No. 1, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia.

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