News & Opinion | March 22, 2019 9:17 am

World Happiness Report: Americans Are the Unhappiest We’ve Been in Years

No, the proposed reason has nothing to do with politics.

happiness report
Addiction might have something to do with America's general unhappiness. (Getty Images)
Getty Images/Image Source

American happiness is trending downwards.

That’s one of the many conclusions drawn form this year’s “World Happiness Report,” an annual pulse on the mental health of the world that coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.

Released every year since 2012, the report surveys 156 countries and determines who’s happier than whom based on six metrics: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, the freedom to make life choices, social support, generosity, and perceptions of corruption, Vox reported.

Despite our low crime rates and steady economy, America placed 19th — following the downward trend its been on for the past three years, based on the survey. It’s America’s worst finish on the list. The Happiest? Finland, apparently.

Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria rounded out the top 10.

It’s not exactly clear why Americans are so unhappy but the authors of the report speculated that addiction might have something to do with it.

“This year’s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor and author of the section of the report titled “Addiction and Unhappiness in America,” said in a release.

“The compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviors is causing severe unhappiness. Government, business, and communities should use these indicators to set new policies aimed at overcoming these sources of unhappiness,” he added.