By Kate Holton
Young people in developing nations are at least twice as likely to feel happy about their lives than their richer counterparts, a survey says.
Indians are the happiest overall and Japanese the most miserable.
According to an MTV Networks International (MTVNI) global survey that covered more than 5,400 young people in 14 countries, only 43 percent of the world's 16- to 34-year-olds say they are happy with their lives.
MTVNI said this figure was dragged down by young people in the developed world, including those in Britain and the United States where fewer than 30 percent of young people said they were happy with the way things were.
Only eight percent in Japan said they were happy.
Reasons for unhappiness across the developed world included a lack of optimism, concern over jobs and pressure to succeed.
In developing countries a majority in the same age group expected their lives to be more enjoyable in the future, led by China with 84 percent.
"The happier young people of the developing world are also the most religious," the survey said.
The MTVNI survey took six months to complete and resulted in the Wellbeing Index which compared the feelings of young people, based on their perceptions of how they feel about safety, where they fit into society and how they see their future.
Young people from Argentina and South Africa came joint top in the list of how happy they were at 75 percent.
The overall Wellbeing Index was more mixed between rich and poor. India came top followed by Sweden and Brazil came last.
"In developing countries, economic growth is on the go ... so you could see that logically there should be optimism and a positive feeling," Bill Roedy, the President of MTVNI, told Reuters.
Developed countries were particularly pessimistic about globalisation, with 95 percent of young Germans thinking it is ruining their culture, while developing countries which tended to be more receptive to globalisation were also more optimistic about their economic future and more proud of their nationality.
MTVNI said one of the trends they spotted was that young people with access to mass media tended to feel less safe as they did not have the cognitive skills to interpret real risk.
In the UK, more than 80 percent of 16- to 34-year-olds said they were as afraid of terrorism as they were of the getting cancer -- though the latter was far more likely to hurt them.
The 14 countries included in the survey were Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the U.S.