The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper


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Our Country is Sad, Literally

As of March of this year, the United States is no longer considered one of the happiest countries in the world. Every year since 2012 the World Happiness Report has released a list recognizing the top 20 happiest countries in the world. Every year since 2012 the US has held a spot on this list, until this year.

In order to understand the significance this holds for our country, it is important to understand how the list is formulated. A world poll is created which asks people to consider a scale from 1-10, which is called the Cantril Ladder, and to imagine the top of the ladder, a 10, as the best possible life for them, and a 0 at the bottom of the ladder as the worst possible life. People are asked to assess where they believe that their current life falls on the Cantril ladder. The report also assesses the GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption within each country. The purpose of the report is to emphasize the importance of governments considering happiness and well being as factors in policy making. 

The data gathered from the report is compiled each year into a list of the top twenty countries with the highest happiness ratings. The top countries this year were Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. These three, along with some other nordic countries typically rank highly on the list year after year. 

Last year the U.S. ranked at spot 15 on the happiness list, and this year it completely fell off of the list and landed in spot 23. This stirs up much curiosity, and leaves us wondering: What changed? Primarily, the rise of mental health issues in America over the past couple years has contributed to an overall happiness decline. This issue is mainly prominent among younger generations. Data from the World Happiness Report finds that the Baby Boomer Generation finds more satisfaction with their lives as they age, and their happiness increases annually. On the contrary, millennials express more dissatisfaction with their lives as time goes on. This holds true for Generation Z as well. A combination of economic challenges, social pressure, and anxiety towards the future all contribute to the declining happiness of younger generations. Rising inflation, job market challenge, social media and technology takeover, political polarity, climate change, just to name a few, are all issues standing between younger generations and a happy future. Much of the decline in happiness is a result of rising mental health issues in America in recent years, along with younger generations’ stress surrounding social media, economic challenge, social pressure, and anxiety.

The World Happiness Report data supports the idea that happiness in the US is declining, so, how do we become happier? According to Brittanica happiness is defined as “a state of emotional well being that a person experiences either in a narrow sense, when good things happen in a specific moment, or more broadly, as a positive evaluation of one’s life and accomplishments overall- that is, subjective well being.” Reaching total satisfaction with your life seems a daunting task, but there are small things that you can do to increase overall happiness. Some of these things include building your resilience to overcome challenges, simply getting enough sleep, socializing with others, stepping away from social media, and adopting a positive outlook in unfortunate circumstances. 


All data taken from We Forum, NPR, and US News

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Sadie Ruppert
Sadie Ruppert, In-Depth Editor, Web Editor
Little does the other in-depth editor know she’s the weird one

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