Revealed: Where seniors are happiest and who is more content, Boomers or Millennials? 

The World Happiness Report 2024 has named Denmark the happiest country for retirees. Source: Getty Images.

Released in late March, the World Happiness Report 2024, revealed where the world’s happiest seniors live and who is happier, the Boomers or Millennials?

The report’s findings were released on March 20, to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Happiness.

Experts surveyed people from 140 nations to rank the world’s “happiest” countries. For the seventh year running, Finland emerged at the top of the list for the country where people are the most content.

However, when it comes to the happiest seniors, Denmark took first place, casting a spotlight on the nation’s ability to foster happiness among its elderly population.

Denmark, with its accessible health care system and holistic approach to ageing, has consistently cultivated a sense of belonging and fulfilment among its older residents.

The Nordic country also scored second place in the overall happiness ranking and took fifth place for the happiness of their young people.

In comparing generations, those born before 1965, generally known as the Baby Boomers, are on average happier than those born after 1989, known as the Millennials and Gen-Zers.

It was also found that among the Millennials, evaluation of one’s own life drops with each year of age, while among Boomers life satisfaction increases with age.

Rankings were based on a three-year average of each population’s average assessment of their quality of life. Experts from multiple fields attempted to explain the variations across countries and over time used factors such as GDP, life expectancy, having someone to count on, a sense of freedom, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.

For the first time, the report gave separate rankings by age group which varied widely from the overall rankings.

Prof John F. Helliwell, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding Editor of the World Happiness Report, explained that data from the annual surveys enabled them to separate age and generational patterns for happiness with some noteworthy findings.

“We found some pretty striking results. There is a great variety among countries in the relative happiness of the younger, older, and in-between populations,” he explained.

“Hence the global happiness rankings are quite different for the young and the old, to an extent that has changed a lot over the last dozen years.”

While one’s macro-environment can contribute significantly to one’s overall happiness, a study conducted by independent research house YouGov and Australia’s leading retirement income provider, Challenger, delved into the intricacies of retirement happiness as part of their Retirement Happiness Index.

The study revealed that nearly 80 per cent of the study’s respondents said getting involved with activities and hobbies was the crowning jewel of retirement satisfaction. Mental wellbeing, physical health and financial security were also seen as compelling factors for amplified contentment in the later years.

Overall, good physical and mental health in addition to having enough money to enjoy retirement were revealed to be the most important elements to ensure a happy retirement.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up