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Report Says Americans Less Happy

Large crowds have turned out for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign rally. Many are unhappy with the economy and the unequal distribution of wealth. (AP File Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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The United States has experienced a decline in happiness during the past 10 years, although it remains among the world’s happiest countries.

That finding comes from a Gallup Poll and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network survey.

The World Happiness Report found that Americans showed “significant decreases” in happiness from 2005 to 2007 and again from 2013 to 2015.

The United States ranked as the 13th happiest country in the 2016 poll. The report showed that 45 nations showed a decline in happiness during the past 10 years. Burundi was at the lowest spot in the rankings of more than 150 nations.

The happiest country in the world was Denmark, according to the report. The top 10 countries also included Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.

Mexico was ranked 21st and Britain was 23rd. France was in the 32nd position, and Japan was ranked 53rd.

Greece had the largest drop in the survey. Researchers blamed the drop on the debt crisis and high unemployment in the country.

In 2014, the Pew Research Center compiled a life satisfaction poll. In that survey, a top conclusion was that richer countries were happier than poor countries. The Pew research said Asians and Africans are the most optimistic people about their futures.

Money was a big factor driving happiness, but it was not the most important, according to the Pew organization. The majority of those asked thought good health, quality education for their children and safety from crime were more important than wealth.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

Jim Dresbach wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

What makes you happy? Is your country a happy place? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or visit our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

polln. an activity in which several or many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something

compilev. to put together in a publication or collection

surveyn. an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something

factorn. something that helps produce or influence a result