In 2024, These are the Happiest Nations on Earth

In 2024, These are the Happiest Nations on Earth

The results of the World Happiness Report are in, and the Nordic nations are once again top-ranked. Finland, the top-ranked nation, has maintained its position for the last seven years.

This year’s study is the first to feature age-group-specific rankings, and it contains unfavorable information regarding life satisfaction among youth in various regions of the world.

In North America, youth happiness has declined to such an extreme degree that youth happiness has now fallen below that of the elderly.

However, other nations—particularly those in Eastern Europe—saw welcome increases in happiness, which contributed to the US and other countries falling in the rankings.

The Happiest Nations

Finland is once again the happiest nation on earth.

The annual study released on March 20, the International Day of Happiness, states as much.

The paper uses data from worldwide surveys conducted among respondents in over 140 nations. A country’s average life evaluation for the three years prior to the current one (2021–2023) is used to rank it in terms of happiness. The Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Gallup, and an editorial board collaborated on the paper.

Finland, a country known for its cold climate, where the summer sun can last all night and the northern lights dance in the winter, has a lot worked out when it comes to the ideal social conditions for happiness.

According to John Helliwell, emeritus professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding editor of the World Happiness Report, each respondent to the poll is asked to assess their life overall while taking their values into consideration.

“And you find out Finland’s pretty rich in all of those things, like wallets being returned if they’re dropped in the street, people helping each other day in and day out, very high quality and universally distributed health and education opportunities — so everyone more or less comes out of the starting gate the same,” he said.

Additionally, he mentioned that immigrants in Finland are content, “so it’s something they’re prepared to share with newcomers.”

The Nordic countries that border Finland also scored highly, with Norway (No. 7) comfortably placing in the top 10, and Denmark (No. 2), Iceland (No. 3), and Sweden (No. 4) in the top five.

Israel may surprise some by ranking fifth, despite the fact that it has been in the top 10 since 2022. The authors of the report note that because the rankings are derived on a three-year average, the impact of “cataclysmic events happening during a particular year” is frequently muted.

And it goes without saying that when there is a crisis, the survey’s timeliness matters. The survey in Israel was carried out following the October 7 attack by Hamas, but before to the majority of the subsequent fighting. Therefore, even if life assessments dropped significantly, those ratings only made up 33% of the average.

The study, which mostly uses data from the Gallup World Poll, also ranks Palestine, whose statehood is not generally acknowledged, at No. 103. Prior to the events of October 7, the survey was carried out in the West Bank and Gaza, two Palestinian areas.

The remaining four countries in the top 10 are Australia (No. 10), Switzerland (No. 9), Australia (No. 6), and Luxembourg (No. 8).

The US is No Longer Among the Top 20

Czechia (No. 18), Lithuania (No. 19), and Slovenia (No. 21) in particular have seen increases in happiness, which has caused the United States (No. 23) and Germany (No. 24) to fall out of the top 20. The UK was ranked twenty-first.

Lithuania was the happiest country in 2024 among respondents under 30, despite its overall ranking of 19th this year. Lithuania ranked 44th among those over 60.

People under 30 in the United States and Canada scored significantly lower on happiness surveys than people 60 and older. The US was placed No. 62 among those under 30 and No. 10 among those 60 and beyond. Canada ranked No. 8 for people 60 and over, and No. 58 for the young.

Significantly lower rankings among the young were also observed in Australia and New Zealand, though not as much.

According to Helliwell, there is no correlation between the poor scores among young people in those nations and factors like money, education, or health.

It’s their perspective on their lives. Thus, it’s a question of mood,” he stated. According to Helliwell, the knowledge that youth in those four countries that speak English as their first language consumes a portion of the decline.

However, there is some good news for the youth.

“Life satisfaction among young people aged 15-24 improved globally between 2006 and 2019, and it has remained stable since then,” the report states. However, the situation differed by area. North America, Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia saw declines in youth wellbeing. It rose in the rest of the world.

Another encouraging conclusion about youth: according to Helliwell, youth saw the greatest increase in kindness during the epidemic across all generations, and this trend has persisted.

“So that’s encouraging. Despite the fact that in some countries they’re not very happy, they’re still capable of and willing to engage in benevolent acts for others. And that gives you hope for the future.”

World’s 20 Happiest Countries in 2024

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

The Last Position on the List

Afghanistan continues to be the unhappiest country in the world. Congo, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, and Lebanon were likewise in the worst four.

Sanchita Patil

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