Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Finland Becomes World’s Happiest Country for 7th Year

Wed 20 Mar 2024 | 11:20 AM
Israa Farhan

Finland has secured its position as the world's happiest country for the seventh consecutive year, according to the latest edition of the annual World Happiness Report released on Wednesday.

The Nordic nation's neighbors, including Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland, have also maintained their spots in the top 10 rankings.

However, a notable trend of increasing unhappiness, particularly among young people, has led to the decline of several Western countries in the UN-sponsored index.

The United States and Germany, for instance, have dropped out of the top 20 for the first time since the report's inception over a decade ago.

Costa Rica and Kuwait have stepped into the ranks, claiming the 12th and 13th positions, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Eastern European countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Latvia have seen significant increases in happiness levels.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Afghanistan continues to grapple with a humanitarian crisis since the Taliban regained control in 2020, maintaining its position as the least happy country in the survey.

The World Happiness Report assesses the subjective well-being of individuals in 143 countries and territories, taking various factors into account, including GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.

The report's release aligns with the International Day of Happiness on March 20.

Previous research into well-being has often indicated that happiness peaks in childhood and early adolescence, declines in middle age, and rises again during retirement.

However, recent findings suggest that today's younger generations, particularly in North America, are more prone to loneliness.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, a professor of economics at the University of Oxford and one of the report's editors, attributes the increasing unhappiness among Western youth to various factors, including the adverse effects of social media, heightened polarization on social issues, and economic disparities that hinder young people's ability to afford housing compared to previous generations.