One Latin American country stands out on the American continent
One Latin American country got into the top 15 World's Happiest Countries. Unsplash

Happiness is declining in the U.S., according to the World Happiness Report 2024 released on Wednesday, coinciding with the UN's International Day of Happiness.

The study reveals that, for the first time in the report's 12-year history, the U.S. failed to secure a spot among the top 20 happiest countries in the world. It ranks No. 23 -- down from 15th-place the previous year.

Latin American countries are distributed all over the spectrum, but one stands out because of its happiness this year, even surpassing Canada, which ranked 15th. It's Costa Rica, the happiest country in Latin America and the Americas, which was the 13th happiest country worldwide.

The World Happiness Report is a partnership between Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the World Happiness Report's Editorial Board.

Conclusions about a country's happiness are drawn from the Gallup World Poll, which uses a scoring system based on individuals' own assessments of their lives.

Costa Rica, located in the Caribbean and renowned for its crystalline oceans, rich biodiversity, majestic volcanoes, and awe-inspiring wildlife, stands as the sole Latin American country to rank within the top 15 happiest nations worldwide.

As for the rest of Latin America, Mexico and Uruguay took the 25th and 26th spots, respectively. El Salvador follows at 33rd place despite the persistent economic challenges the Caribbean nation has faced for decades.

They are followed by Chile (38th), Panama (39th), Guatemala (42nd), Nicaragua (43rd), Brazil (44th), Argentina (48th), Paraguay (57th), Honduras (61st), Jamaica (67th), Peru (68th), the Dominican Republic (69th), Bolivia (73rd), Ecuador (74th), Colombia (78th), and Venezuela (79th).

At a global level, Finland maintained its position at the top of the list for the seventh consecutive year, although significant shifts are observed elsewhere. Serbia (37th) and Bulgaria (81st) have seen the largest increases in average life evaluation scores since their initial measurement by the Gallup World Poll in 2013.

For the first time, the report presents separate rankings by age group, showing they often diverge significantly compared to the overall rankings. Lithuania leads the list for children and young people under 30, while Denmark emerges as the happiest nation for individuals aged 60 and above.

Denmark emerges as the happiest nation for individuals aged 60
Denmark emerges as the happiest nation for individuals aged 60 and above Gallup

When comparing different generations, individuals born before 1965 tend to report higher levels of happiness on average than those born since 1980. Among Millennials, self-evaluation of life satisfaction decreases with each passing year, while among Baby Boomers, life satisfaction tends to increase with age.

Top 15 Happiest Countries in the World

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxemburg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Kuwait
  14. Australia
  15. Canada

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