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Switzerland Today – SWI swissinfo.ch

Switzerland Today – SWI swissinfo.ch

Who are the happiest people in the world?

Finland remains the happiest country in the world, taking the title for the seventh year in a row, according to a UN-commissioned World Happiness ReportExternal link released today. Switzerland dropped one place to ninth.

Nordic countries took the top slots, with Denmark, Iceland and Sweden following Finland. Switzerland’s happiness index score dropped from 7,240 to 7,060, pushing it down to ninth place.

Afghanistan, which has been hit by a humanitarian disaster following the Taliban’s return to power in 2020, came last in the ranking of 143 countries.

For the first time in over ten years, the United States and Germany did not appear in the top 20. The UK came 20th and France was ranked 27th.

Declining wellbeing among under-30s has driven the US out of the top 20 list of happiest nations, the 2024 World HappinessExternal link Report suggested.

The World Happiness Report is an annual barometer of wellbeing in 140 nations coordinated by Oxford University’s Wellbeing Research Centre, Gallup and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

This year’s results showed “disconcerting drops [in youth happiness] especially in North America and western Europe”, said Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the Wellbeing Research Centre and editor of the study.

“To think that in some parts of the world children are already experiencing the equivalent of a midlife crisis demands immediate policy action,” he said.

A separate Swiss survey by market research company YouGov Switzerland, published yesterday ahead of World Happiness Day, found that most Swiss people are very satisfied with their lives. But there are marked differences between age groups: a fifth of 18- to 29-year-olds suffer from a diagnosed psychological illness or disorder.