Teen years: For many it’s a time filled with changing bodies, awkwardness, and growth. Movies, television shows, and magazines can sometimes glamorize this transition from childhood to adulthood. However, the reality is, a great portion of youth in the world do not even have the opportunities that many of us consider the norm. There is no hanging out with friends, going to the movies, or the prom. The overall well-being of the youth in this world shows that a large factor stems from a lack of education.

Recent research provided by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the International Youth Foundation has found that a large majority of the world’s teens are unhappy. After looking at data from 30 different countries, they found that teens living in Australia ranked the highest when it came to well-being; Sweden and South Korea ranked second and third, respectively.

The two American think tanks developed the index standard, and they measured the quality of life of people ranging from 12 to 24 years old. The authors, Nicole Goldin, Payal Patel, and Katherine Perry ranked the teens according to citizen participation, economic opportunity, education, health, information and communications technology, safety, and security. The bottom five countries were India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria.

"The results ... show that young people are not necessarily equally served and benefiting from strong economic growth," the report stated. "Similarly, the overall results illustrate how policies and institutions can serve youth development needs even where resources may be more constrained, as in Vietnam (11th), which performs above its lower-middle-income peers."

The researchers also found that nearly half the youth are unemployed or underemployed, and more than 120 million are illiterate. Also, forty percent of new HIV/ AIDS infections occur among the youth. Only 15 percent of the people in these 30 countries had the quality of life that would, “enable them to thrive and prosper.”

Much of this has to do with the education situations that many teens face. “Education plays a critical role in youth wellbeing,” the study said. “Developing a high level of cognitive thinking during secondary and tertiary education is arguable just as foundational to youths’ long-term success as hanging a solid foundation during early education.”

Number 2-10 Rankings For Teen Happiness:

2.       Sweden

3.       South Korea

4.       United Kingdom

5.       Germany

6.       United States

7.       Japan

8.       Spain

9.       Saudi Arabia

10.     Thailand