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Revealed: the European country named the world’s happiest for under 30s

Places in central and eastern Europe and South America proved to be the happiest for the young

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

We reported earlier this week that Finland has once again been crowned as the world’s happiest country, for no less than the seventh year in a row. But that was representative of the overall population – it’s quite a different story when it comes to the country with the happiest youngsters. 

For 2024, the World Happiness Report investigated the disparity between generations, revealing – for the first time ever – the happiest countries for the old and the young. 

The countries where happiness among the young is significantly higher than the old are predominantly in central and eastern Europe and in South America. Ranking as the happiest country for the under-30 category was Lithuania. The Baltic country placed nineteenth in the overall ranking, but for happiness among young people, it steamed ahead of Nordic states like Finland, Iceland and Norway

Interestingly, Lithuania’s younger population is significantly happier than its senior citizens – the country ranked at number 44 in the over-60s category. But that’s not the biggest gap – Croatia comes in fourteenth place for under-30s, a whopping 66 places higher than its over-60s ranking. 

As for the South American entries, Costa Rica claims the highest spot at number 11, one up from its place at number 12 overall whereas El Salvador makes an appearance at number 17, a big leap from its overall position at number 33. 

The 20 happiest countries in the world for under 30s

  1. Lithuania
  2. Israel
  3. Serbia
  4. Iceland
  5. Denmark
  6. Luxembourg
  7. Finland
  8. Romania
  9. Netherlands
  10. Czechia
  11. Costa Rica
  12. Austria
  13. Switzerland
  14. Croatia
  15. Slovenia
  16. Kuwait
  17. El Salvador
  18. Sweden
  19. Australia
  20. Norway

You can find out more about how age categories were assessed on the World Happiness Report page here

And these are the world’s 20 happiest countries in 2024.

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