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Countries where happiest people live: Surprising results

Countries where happiest people live: Surprising results Scientists named the countries where the happiest people live (Collage by RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

The level of happiness of each person depends on many factors: biological, social, psychological, and physical. And the influence of each such factor on the level of happiness is individual. Moreover, the level of happiness can change depending on life circumstances.

RBC-Ukraine, based on the results of the PNAS study published in Science Focus, tells about the countries where the happiest people live.

In 2023, scientific research and surveys showed that the happiest people live in Scandinavia - Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. However, a new survey in 2024 revealed that people can be happy in places where there is no rapid civilization development or big money.

According to the authors of the analysis, the highest indicators were recorded in Central and South America. This is despite the fact that these nations have experienced "histories of marginalisation and oppression."

Thus, the new research suggests that happiness does not necessarily have to be linked to money. Even with low incomes, people can have high life satisfaction.

"The strong correlation frequently observed between income and life satisfaction is not universal and proves that wealth – as generated by industrialized economies – is not fundamentally required for humans to lead happy lives," said Prof Victoria Reyes-Garcia, senior author of the study.

Scientists found that the happiness level among people in developing and underdeveloped countries is higher than among residents of economically prosperous states. This may be associated with dependency on smartphones and consumption of unhealthy food by inhabitants of rich countries.

Participants from 71 countries worldwide took part in the survey. Study participants were asked to indicate whether they felt happy and satisfied with life. After collecting the necessary information, scientists summarized the survey results and compiled a ranking of countries' psychological well-being.

Psychological well-being was defined as a person's ability to cope with stress and adversity, and even make a productive contribution to society.

African and Latin American countries scored the highest. The Dominican Republic ranked first, followed by Tanzania in third place. Sri Lanka, Panama, and Malaysia also made it into the top five countries with the highest life satisfaction.

It is noted that the USA ranked 29th, Canada 40th, and the UK 70th. Among the least happy countries were Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Brazil.

Scientists link lower levels of psychological well-being in economically prosperous countries to various factors - dependence on smartphones, increased consumption of unhealthy food, declining value of family and marriage institutions, as well as the growing number of remote work vacancies.

Earlier, we wrote about the most expensive city in the world.