United States Hits All-Time Low in World Happiness Ranking

The United States dropped to its lowest-ever ranking in this year’s World Happiness Report, with a distinctive generational trend emerging as a significant factor.

Released on March 20 by Gallup, the report placed America 23rd on the list of happiest countries, a significant decline from its 15th position the previous year.

This marks the first time since the report’s inception in 2012 that the U.S. failed to secure a spot among the top 20 countries.

Compiled annually using the Gallup World Poll, which gathers quality of life data from 140 nations, the report highlighted America’s notable decline, attributed in part to diminishing levels of happiness among younger generations compared to their older counterparts.

This shift, also observed in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, represents a stark departure from trends in the late 2000s when younger generations reported similar levels of happiness as older ones.

Loneliness emerges as a significant contributing factor to this generational disparity, with Millennials experiencing nearly double the prevalence of loneliness compared to those born before 1965.

Interestingly, despite engaging in more social interactions, younger generations express heightened feelings of loneliness compared to older demographics, the report notes.

These findings align with other surveys indicating that younger Americans are less content with their personal lives and economic conditions than their older counterparts.

Finland maintained its position at the top of the happiness rankings for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden, countries with a consistent history of high rankings.

Notably, there were notable changes within the top 20 countries, with newcomers Costa Rica and Kuwait making their debut.

Germany experienced a similar decline to the U.S., dropping from 16th to 24th place.

At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan emerged as the least happy country globally, followed closely by Lebanon, Lesotho, and Sierra Leone.