Maldives Wellness Review

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Fresh insights from the World Happiness Report 2024, released on 20th March to mark UN”s International Day of Happiness , paint the richest picture yet of happiness trends across different ages and generations.The findings in the report are powered by data from the Gallup World Poll and analyzed by some of the world’s leading wellbeing scientists.

Experts use responses from people in more than 140 nations to rank the world’s ‘happiest’ countries. Finland tops the overall list for the seventh successive year, though there is considerable movement elsewhere:

  • Serbia (37th) and Bulgaria (81st) have had the biggest increases in average life evaluation scores since they were first measured by the Gallup World Poll in 2013, and this is reflected in climbs up the rankings between World Happiness Report 2013 and this 2024 edition of 69 places for Serbia and 63 places for Bulgaria.
  • The next two countries showing the largest increases in life evaluations are Latvia (46th) and Congo (Brazzaville) (89th), with rank increases of 44 and 40 places, respectively, between 2013 and 2024.

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For the first time, the report gives separate rankings by age group, in many cases varying widely from the overall rankings. Lithuania tops the list for children and young people under 30, while Denmark is the world’s happiest nation for those 60 and older.

In comparing generations, those born before 1965 are, on average, happier than those born since 1980. Among Millennials, evaluation of one’s own life drops with each year of age, while among Boomers life satisfaction increases with age.

Rankings are based on a three-year average of each population’s average assessment of their quality of life. Interdisciplinary experts from the fields of economics, psychology, sociology and beyond then attempt to explain the variations across countries and over time using factors such as GDP, life expectancy, having someone to count on, a sense of freedom, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

These factors help to explain the differences across nations, while the rankings themselves are based only on the answers people give when asked to rate their own lives.

The World Happiness Report 2024 also features curated submissions on the theme of happiness across different age groups from experts at the forefront of wellbeing science.

Observing the state of happiness among the world’s children and adolescent population, researchers found that, globally, young people aged 15 to 24 report higher life satisfaction than older adults, but this gap is narrowing in Europe and recently reversed in North America.

Findings also suggest that the wellbeing of 15- to 24-year-olds has fallen in North America, Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia since 2019 – but in the rest of world it has risen. Overall, though, there is a notable global scarcity of wellbeing data available for children below the age of 15.

Further work examines the relationship between wellbeing and dementia, identified as a significant area of research in a globally aging population.

Researchers highlight not only the impact of dementia on the wellbeing of individuals but also the reverse association: the demonstrable predictive power of higher wellbeing to reduce the risk of developing the disease in later life.

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Finally, a team of researchers used a large survey of life satisfaction of older adults in what is now the world’s most populous nation: India. They found that within this older Indian population, increasing age is associated with higher life satisfaction, matching the findings of the global analyses.

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

The report is produced under the editorial control of the WHR Editorial Board, formed of John F. Helliwell, Lord Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Lara B. Aknin, and Shun Wang.

Read the report in full at