For Greek philosopher Aristotle, happiness is a virtue, and it seems like the Finnish have mastered it, as the Nordic country tops the list of happiest countries in the world for a record seventh year in a row, according to the newly released report for 2024. Finland scored 7.741, which is slightly less than its result last year (7.804 out of 10).

In the top 3, the rankings mirror 2023, Denmark comes in second (7.583), and Iceland is third (7.525). Israel has given up its fourth place from last year to Sweden and is now fifth. 

Congratulations are also in order for Costa Rica (12th), Travel+Leisure’s Destination of the Year, and Kuwait (13th), which are making their debut among the top 20 happiest states.

However, there is bad news for the U.S., which has fallen to No. 23 — its worst result since the report was first published in 2012. The biggest contributor to this is “a large drop in the well-being of Americans under 30,” states a press release. 

For the first time this year, there are two sub-rankings by age, and while the U.S. scores 10th for happiness in people over 60, it ranks 62 for those under 30. The happiest country for young people in this category is Lithuania.

“We found some pretty striking results. There is a great variety among countries in the relative happiness of the younger, older, and in-between populations. Hence the global happiness rankings are quite different for the young and the old, to an extent that has changed a lot over the last dozen years,” John F. Helliwell, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding editor of the World Happiness Report, said in a press release provided to T+L.

The report has found that, since 2019, the well-being of young people aged 15 to 24 has also fallen in Western Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. Overall, boomers (aka those born before 1965) are happier than millennials, according to the findings.

There are significant changes elsewhere on the list, with Serbia (37th) and Bulgaria (81st) scoring the most significant jumps — with over 63 spots — since the report’s inaugural edition. Afghanistan is, again, at the bottom of the ranking. 

The 2024 World Happiness Report was compiled based on the self-assessments of the quality of life of the population of each country from 2021 through 2023.

You can read the full findings on

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