Mar 19, 2024 - World

U.S. hits new low in World Happiness Report

World Happiness country rankings, 2021–2024
Data: World Happiness Report; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The U.S. hit an all-time low ranking in the annual World Happiness Report, tumbling eight spots to 23rd.

Why it matters: Some countries, like Finland and Denmark, consistently rank among the world's happiest. The U.S. isn't one of them.

The big picture: A steady supply of studies has found that Americans feel glum about issues ranging from loneliness to the economy and the country's political leadership.

  • It's the first time since the report launched 12 years ago that the U.S. did not rank among the world's 20 happiest countries.

Between the lines: Gallup, whose data powers the World Happiness Report, pointed to "Americans under 30 feeling worse about their lives" for the steep drop.

  • Today's young people report feeling less supported by friends and family, less free to make life choices, more stressed and less satisfied with their living conditions, Lara Aknin, an editor of the report, told Axios.
  • People under 30 today also feel less confident in government and have increased perceptions of corruption, she added.
  • The report also found that older people are now happier than young people in North America — the opposite of many other regions.

Zoom out: Many Americans have expressed low levels of trust in the political system and fears of political violence.

World's top 25 happiest countries, ranked:

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

21. Slovenia

22. United Arab Emirates

23. United States

24. Germany

25. Mexico

Go deeper: Axios Finish Line: The world's happiest countries

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