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The 2024 World Happiness Report ranks Lithuania as the happiest country for Gen Z and millennials, based on self-assessed life evaluations and responses to the Cantril ladder question. In addition to these factors, the report also considers variables such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and freedom from corruption. Countries are ranked based on these criteria, with Lithuania emerging as the top country for those under the age of 30.

Lithuania has been steadily climbing up the happiness rankings since 2017, when it was placed 52nd overall. The country scored 7.759 in the report, making it the happiest country for Gen Z and millennials. The high ranking can be attributed to factors such as a relatively low cost of living, with monthly costs for a single person estimated to be under $800, not including rent. The country’s capital, Vilnius, has also been recognized as a hub for the gaming industry, with 90% of the companies in the country’s gaming sector located there.

Israel ranked as the second happiest country for those under 30, with a score of 7.667. The country outperforms the average in life satisfaction, social connections, and health, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index. Israel is also known for its technological advancements and major exports such as cut diamonds and pharmaceuticals. While the cost of living in Israel is slightly lower than in the United States, rent is significantly more affordable, making it an attractive option for young people.

Serbia, Iceland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland, Romania, the Netherlands, and Czechia round out the top 10 happiest countries for individuals under 30, according to the World Happiness Report. These countries scored well in various criteria such as social connections, life satisfaction, and health, making them desirable places for young people to live. Factors such as economic stability, quality of life, and opportunities for career growth may also contribute to their high rankings in the report.

The final rankings of the happiest countries for individuals under 30 and those aged 60 and above show significant differences, with Lithuania taking the top spot for the former but ranking 44th for the latter group. This suggests that happiness levels may vary based on age, with younger generations experiencing higher levels of happiness compared to older individuals. The convergence between the two halves of Europe has been driven mainly by the rising happiness of the youth, according to the report.

Overall, the World Happiness Report provides valuable insights into the factors that contribute to happiness levels in different countries, especially for young people. By considering variables such as GDP per capita, social support, and freedom, the report offers a comprehensive view of happiness levels worldwide. Countries like Lithuania and Israel stand out as top destinations for Gen Z and millennials, offering a combination of economic opportunities, social connections, and overall well-being that contribute to their high happiness rankings.

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