Chances are, if you live in the U.S., you feel worse today than you did 10 years ago. Don’t worry, it’s not you. This is a national problem: America’s rank on the happiness scale is falling.When it comes to happiness, the U.S. ranked 19th among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development in 2016, down from third among 24 countries on a similar measure in 2007, according to the World Happiness Report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and funded by the Ernesto Illy Foundation.Money, at least in the U.S., doesn’t buy happiness, the report found. Even as the country pulled off an economic turnaround, with increases in income and unemployment falling to historic lows, Americans are becoming less happy.
Improving happiness in the U.S. would be much easier to do through social change, the report found.
....five means by which to improve social trust: campaign finance reform, policies aimed at reducing income inequality (such as public financing of health), improved social relations between native born and immigrant Americans, working to move past the fear of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and improved access to high-quality education.
From the World Happiness Report 2017:
The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came 19th. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.
I would seem that the report concludes that the increasing divide between the haves and have-nots, perceived corruption in government and a decline in general trust in one another is making for an increasingly unhappy America.
Suicide rates and drug and alcohol addictions (and attendant mortality) are on the rise among for middle-aged white, non-Hispanic men and women. They are falling in Nordic countries. It would also appear that America's war on terror is producing a very hostile "us vs them" mentality, which is exacerbated by "daily indignities of searches, frisking, body pat downs, orders barked at airports, and terrorist alerts" and declining belief in the government's justifications for military interventions. The last metric is described as "the severe deterioration of America’s educational system", rising tuition rates and declining student aid.