Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Finland Remains World’s Happiest Country in 2024, Yet Concerns Over Youth Well-being Emerge in Europe; Canada Ranks 15th

n the latest release of the World Happiness Report, Finland has secured its position as the world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year. However, a closer look at the data reveals troubling trends in the happiness levels of young people and adolescents, particularly in Western Europe.

Compiled from data spanning over 140 countries, the 2024 report marks the first time age-specific metrics have been included, shedding light on a concerning disparity in happiness across different age groups globally.

European nations, notably the Nordic countries including Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, continue to dominate the top ranks of happiness. Canada ranks 15th in the list.

The report’s rankings are based on subjective life evaluations collected over three years, with input from interdisciplinary experts focusing on six key variables: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

Digging deeper into the data, Lithuania emerged as the top-ranking country for the happiness of young people under 30, while Denmark claimed the spot for older individuals over 60.

However, a significant divergence in well-being among age groups was noted, particularly in Western Europe, North America, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, raising concerns about the mental health of young people in these regions.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of Oxford’s Well-being Research Centre, emphasized the urgent need for policy action to address the alarming declines in happiness experienced by children and adolescents in certain parts of the world.

Furthermore, the report highlighted a generational divide in happiness, with those born before 1965 generally reporting higher satisfaction levels compared to those born after 1980. While older generations tend to become happier with age, Millennials experience a decrease in happiness as they grow older.

John F. Helliwell, emeritus professor of economics at the University of British Columbia, underscored the dynamic nature of happiness rankings across different age groups, reflecting evolving societal trends over the past decade.

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