The Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released its annual World Happiness Report, which publishes a list of countries ranked by happiness level.
158 were included in the report, which measures “happiness” by a variety of factors including GDP per capita, life expectancy, generosity, freedom, community support, and absence of corruption.
And the happiest country in the world? Switzerland. Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada are close runners-up, followed by Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.
Israel is the 11th happiest country in the world, and US comes in as the 15th.
Unsurprisingly, considering the current struggles against terrorism, Afghanistan and Syria have some of the lowest happiness levels, along with the Ivory Coast, Guinea and Chad.
The report was first published in 2012. “As the science of happiness advances, we are getting to the heart of what factors define quality of life for citizens,” said Professor John F. Helliwell, editor of the report. “We are encouraged that more and more governments around the world are listening and responding with policies that put well-being first. Countries with strong social and institutional capital not only support greater well-being, but are more resilient to social and economic crises.”
The goal of the report is to “guide progress toward social, economic and environmental development.”