Jamaica Ranked 66th, But Still Happiest in the Caribbean – 2024 World Happiness Report

Jamaica ranks at Number 66 among the 156 countries listed in the 2024 World Happiness Report issued jointly by Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Center, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the World Happiness Report’s Editorial Board. It retains its ranking in the 2023 report and is still the happiest country in the Caribbean, with the Dominican Republic close behind. Notably, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are the only two specifically Caribbean countries listed in the report, which combines the regions of the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2023, Jamaica ranked 68 out of 132 nations, while the Dominican Republic took the 73rd spot. Comparatively, in 2021, Jamaica’s ranking was 37.

Report based on individuals’ self-assessments

In the report, nations are ranked based on a 3-year average of the self-assessments made by individuals about their lives. Questions concerning factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), life expectancy, sense of freedom, generosity, perceptions of corruption, and having someone to “count on” are posed to individuals who reside in each country, without regard to their citizenship status or birthplace.

Unhappiness increased with age

The report found that there has been a growing unhappiness in the populations of the Caribbean and Latin America as their people grow older, especially among women. Men and women under the age of 30 tend to report equal happiness rates, with unhappiness growing for women from then on, creating a gap with the rates of men. Additionally, the report stated that women are unhappier than men overall and have “more frequent negative emotions at all ages.” This dynamic is consistent throughout the world, with a gender gap that increases slightly as populations grow older. In the Caribbean and Latin America, the dynamic is particularly noted in middle-aged groups.

Equal access to amenities key to happiness

The report stated that having equal access to amenities – factors that directly or indirectly support well-being – is critical for individuals’ happiness. These factors include access to income, education, health care, social acceptance, trust, and presence of support at family, community, and national levels. According to the report, individuals are happier when they live in countries that have greater equity in the distribution of happiness based on these factors.

Millennials and Gen-Z most likely to help others

An analysis of World Happiness results that focused on age range, the report found that individuals belonging to the so-called Millennial and GenZ generations were more benevolent and likely to help others than other age groups. Benevolence is another key indicator of happiness, according to the report, as the opportunity to help those in need and seeing others who are helping tends to give life purpose and raise trust in others. These factors are associated with more positive ratings of life overall.

Millennials self-reported elevated levels of loneliness

Individuals in the Caribbean and Latine America who are considered members of the Millennial generation join their counterparts throughout the world in reporting feeling lonelier than other generations. The report found that Millennials were nearly twice as likely to report feelings of loneliness than individuals born before 1965. They also feel less social support than people in the “Boomer” generation, a factor that differentiates the happiness levels of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America from the rest of the world. Millennials reported these feelings of loneliness despite having actual social connections that are less frequently enjoyed by Boomers.

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