American Youth Unhappiness: US Plummets in Global Happiness Rankings, Concerns Rise Over Well-Being

Feature and Cover American Youth Unhappiness US Plummets in Global Happiness Rankings Concerns Rise Over Well Being

The latest findings from the annual World Happiness Report have sparked concern over the well-being of youth in the United States. According to the report, the US has slipped to the 23rd position among the world’s happiest countries, marking a significant decline from its previous standing. This drop has pushed the US out of the top 20 for the first time since the report’s inception in 2012. Published by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford, the report indicates a worrying trend in American happiness levels.

While Finland continues to hold the top spot, countries like Canada and the UK have also fared better than the US, securing the 15th and 20th positions respectively. The dissatisfaction among American youth appears to be a primary factor contributing to this drastic decline. For the first time, the report has introduced alternative rankings based on age groups, revealing that the US ranks 62nd in the under-30 category, lagging behind nations such as Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, a professor at Saïd Business School and one of the editors of the World Happiness Report, expressed astonishment at the decline in average happiness within the US. He emphasized that the well-being of young Americans has experienced a sharp decline, consequently dragging down the overall rankings of the country. Conversely, older Americans have exhibited a more positive outlook on their quality of life.

De Neve highlighted alarming decreases in happiness levels across North America and western Europe, describing the situation as “disconcerting.” He stressed the urgency for policy interventions, particularly concerning the emotional well-being of children who are facing challenges comparable to a mid-life crisis in some parts of the world.

The report’s findings indicate a decline in well-being among individuals aged 15 to 24 in various regions, including North America, western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, since 2019. Conversely, happiness levels within the same age group have generally increased in other parts of the world.

In the United States, young people grapple with a multitude of social issues, including a pervasive sense of loneliness. De Neve pointed to several potential factors driving this decline, including the proliferation of social media, worsening mental health among youth, and political polarization.

“The rising inequality in society is also a significant factor,” De Neve remarked. “In the United States, there’s a palpable divide between the left and right, contributing to a myriad of issues.”

He emphasized that attributing the decline in happiness to a single cause would be oversimplifying the situation, as it is influenced by a complex interplay of various factors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Related Stories