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  4. World Happiness Report 2024: Which are the happiest countries and where does India rank? | Check LIST

World Happiness Report 2024: Which are the happiest countries and where does India rank? | Check LIST

According to the World Happiness Report, happiness levels have fallen in North America and Western Europe, but they have risen significantly in Western and Central Europe. Afghanistan remains the world's least happiest country with a humanitarian crisis since the Taliban took power.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Helsinki (Finland) Published on: March 20, 2024 12:39 IST
World Happiness Report 2024, India rankings
Image Source : PIXABAY The World Happiness Report 2024 was released on Wednesday.

Helsinki: Finland remains the world's happiest country for the seventh consecutive year in an annual UN-sponsored World Happiness Report 2024 released on Wednesday. All five Nordic countries including Denmark, Iceland and Sweden are closely following Finland in the list of top ten countries, although a decline has been reported in the United States and Western Europe.

According to the report, happiness among the young, aged between 15-24 years, has fallen sharply in North America – to a point where the young are less happy than the old. On the other hand, happiness at every age group has risen sharply in Central and Eastern Europe, along with East Asia. There has been a dip in happiness in countries located in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa at every age.

For the first time since the report was published a decade ago, the United States and Germany are not among the top 20 happiest countries, as their rankings have fallen to 23 and 24 this year respectively. Afghanistan, which has been grappling with a humanitarian catastrophe since the Taliban took power in 2021, remains at the bottom out of 143 countries surveyed.

Costa Rica and Kuwait are the new entrants in the top 20 list. There have been large-scale changes in overall happiness in several countries since 2006-10, with Afghanistan, Lebanon and Syria reporting the worst negative trends while Eastern European countries witnessed significant increases. The top countries no longer include any of the largest countries, with only Australia and the Netherlands having a population of over 15 million.

The rankings are based on individuals’ own assessments of their lives, along with key variables like GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption. The report also highlights that the inequality of happiness has happened in every region except Europe and negative emotions are more frequent now.

Top 10 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

What is India's rank?

India ranks 126th in the World Happiness Index 2024, the same as last year. The report said older age is associated with higher life satisfaction in the country - older men in India are more satisfied with life than older women, but older women report higher life satisfaction than their male counterparts.

Factors including social relationships, social engagement, living arrangements, education, income, caste and religion impact life satisfaction among Indians. India's older population is the second largest worldwide, with 140 million aged 60 and over as compared to 250 million in China. The report refutes certain claims that a positive association between age and life satisfaction occurs only in high-income nations.

Despite women being exposed to more everyday life stressors like workplace discrimination and secondary social status, older women in India have higher levels of life satisfaction than older men, the report found. It said that older men who are married, are socially active, and have higher levels of education are more satisfied with their lives.

Living arrangements, perceived discrimination, and poor self-rated health were important factors associated with low life satisfaction among older Indians. Social support plays a significant role in the satisfaction levels of older Indians, as women often have broader social networks. While some studies show decreasing satisfaction with age, some hypotheses argue that older men adopt accommodative strategies, become more mature, and learn how to regulate their emotions.

ALSO READ | Pakistan among top five countries in Global Terrorism Index 2024, check out India's rank

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