US and Puerto Rico were not included in the world’s happiest countries list

US and Puerto Rico were not included in the world’s happiest countries list

In the United States, young people are less happy than older adults. (Image via Shutterstock).

By Mivette Vega

March 22, 2024

The US dropped out of the top 20 for the first time since the first report 12 years ago. The nation now ranks at No. 23, compared to No. 15 last year. 

The US and Puerto Rico were left out of the top 20 in the World Happiness Report 2024. Finland got first place.

The annual report was made in partnership with Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It coincides with the United Nations International Day of Happiness on March 20.

The US dropped out of the top 20 for the first time since the first report 12 years ago. The nation now ranks at No. 23, compared to No. 15 last year. 

This year’s report is the first to include ranking by age group, a methodology that has revealed dissatisfaction among young people in several countries.

That was the case in the United States, where young people are less happy than older adults. The US ranks in the top 10 for people over 60, but for those under 30, it ranks 62nd, pulling down the overall score. 

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“The World Happiness Report and the Gallup/Meta social connectedness data show peak loneliness for younger Americans. It’s widely recognized that social support and feelings of loneliness are influential factors in determining overall happiness, and these dynamics differ across various age groups. The quality of interpersonal relationships may impact the wellbeing of younger and older individuals in distinct ways,” Gallup Managing Director Ilana Ron Levey told CBS News in an emailed statement.

In the case of Puerto Rico, the outlook was even worse, since the island does not even appear among the 143 countries on the list.

This is very different from 2016, when the island ranked 15th.

The report used answers from people in more than 140 countries. They are based on data on people’s assessments of their overall satisfaction with their lives. They analyzed six factors: the nation’s healthy life expectancy, economy, levels of corruption, social support, generosity, and freedom.

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

CATEGORIES: NATIONAL ECONOMY
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