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Global study reveals decline in happiness among younger generation

happiness decline

Recent global research has uncovered a concerning trend indicating that young people are facing a decline in happiness, akin to a midlife crisis.

The study involved participants rating their life satisfaction on a scale from zero to 10, with 10 representing the highest level of contentment. Results from the past three years were averaged to derive the findings.

According to the 2024 World Happiness Report, coordinated by Oxford University's Wellbeing Research Centre, Gallup, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, youth, particularly in North America, are grappling with a significant decrease in well-being.

This decline has resulted in the exclusion of the United States from the top 20 list of the world's happiest nations.

Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the Wellbeing Research Centre and editor of the study, highlighted the "disconcerting drops (in youth happiness), especially in North America and Western Europe." He emphasized the urgency for policy intervention, stating, "To think that in some parts of the world children are already experiencing the equivalent of a midlife crisis, demands immediate policy action."

Dr. De Neve attributed several factors to the decrease in youth happiness, including heightened social polarization, negative influences of social media, and economic disparities that hinder young individuals from affording housing, a challenge less prevalent in the past.

The findings of the report challenge the conventional belief that happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, with a dip in midlife followed by a rebound.

The report also revealed that the happiness ranking of the United States, as well as other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, has declined across all age groups, with the younger demographic being the least content. Conversely, older individuals in nations like the UK demonstrated higher happiness levels, with British citizens over 60 ranking among the top 20 happiest older generations globally.

Finland, Denmark, and Iceland emerged as the top three happiest countries according to the report's findings.

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TAGS:Happiness DeclineHappiness Index
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