Young people aged 15 to 24 are becoming less happy in Europe and the United States

Young people aged 15 to 24 are becoming less happy in Europe and the United States

According to the World Happiness Report published on Wednesday, France ranked 48th in a poll of people under 30 years old. The United States ranks 62nd when we look at this age group.

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The housing crisis, stagnant income, and even social networks are among the factors that can explain young people's decline in happiness.  (Pierre Heckler/Le Republican Lorraine/Max BBB)

Happiness in Finland. For the seventh year in a row, the Nordic country has been ranked as the happiest country in the world World Happiness Report, sponsored by the United Nations, was issued on Wednesday, March 20. The northern European countries come in first place, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Sweden after Finland. France 27H For the first time in more than a decade, the United States and Germany dropped out of the list of the 20 happiest countries, arriving respectively at 23rd place.H And 24H Places.

None of the world's most populous countries were among the top 20 in this ranking: “Of the top 10, only the Netherlands and Australia have populations of more than 15 million. Of the top 20, only Canada and the United Kingdom have populations of more than 30 million.”, according to the report. When it examines the health of the youngest of them, between the ages of 15 and 24, the report becomes alarming. “Since 2006-2010, youth happiness has declined sharply in North America, to the point where young people are less happy than older people. Youth happiness has also declined, but less sharply, in Western Europe.”he is writing.

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'Worrying declines'

Prepared in 2012, this global report is an annual measure of well-being in 140 countries, coordinated by the Center for Well-being Research at the University of Oxford, Gallup and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It is based on people's assessment of their happiness, on economic and social data, and integrates six main factors: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. This report appears “Worrying declines [du bonheur des jeunes], Especially in North America and Western Europe.”“, confirms the British daily newspaper Watchman Professor Jean-Emmanuel de Neve, Director of the Center for Well-Being Research and Editor-in-Chief of the study.

“The belief that children in some parts of the world are already experiencing the equivalent of a midlife crisis requires immediate policy action.”

Jean-Emmanuel de Neve, editor-in-chief of The Happiness Report

In “The Guardian”

After twelve years in which people under 30 were measured as being happier than older generations in the United States, the trend appears to have reversed in 2017. When younger Americans were polled, the country ranked as the richest country in the world in Rank 62.H. It goes up to 10H Where opinions from people aged 60 or over are included. This trend is also observed, to a lesser extent, in Europe. “Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, the UK and Spain are countries where older people are now significantly happier than younger people, while Portugal and Greece show the opposite trend.”Report details. Thus, France becomes 25H When we ask older people, 48H When we listen to the youngest.

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The influence of social networks

The report does not explain this decline among Western youth. But the Intergenerational Foundation Association puts forward some hypotheses in this regard Watchman : “Young adults are being hit from all sides by a toxic mix of government policies, the housing affordability crisis, stagnant wages, and rising costs of living. It's no wonder their generation is suffering from unprecedented levels of mental health problems while their future looks so bleak.”

Interviewed by Dr. Vivek Murthy, Superintendent of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). WatchmanIt also points to the influence of social networks on American teenagers “Spend an average of 4.8 hours a day” Above and that“A third of teens stay up until midnight or later on weeknights on their devices.”. He compares them to the first cars that were built without safety systems.

“What's happening on social media is like having kids in cars with no safety features and driving on roads with no speed limits. (…) We tell them: Do your best, and figure out how to deal with this.”

Vivek Murthy, Superintendent of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS)

In “The Guardian”

The abundance of information, often negative, doesn't help either as young people are bombarded by their mobile phones “Headlines that constantly tell them that the world is broken and the future is dark.”. “What happened was a total failure of governments to protect young people from the harmful effects of new technology. He finishes“This is no longer new.” While still waiting to see data proving that these networks are safe for children and teens, the doctor is calling for international action to improve real social connections among young people.

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