When asked to name the happiest place on Earth, many people say "Disney World" without hesitation. For the past five years, however, the United Nations has gone to great lengths to figure out the true answer to that question. According to the UN, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of all public policy.
First published in 2012, The World Happiness Report is a survey of global happiness distributed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The 2017 edition, which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, is based on the Gallup World Poll and nationally representative samples from 2014 to 2016. The six categories contributing to the ranking were GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.
"The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people — their well-being," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and co-editor of the report. Although has Denmark held the top spot for three out of the last four years, a new winner has been crowned for 2017. Read on to find out which country took the top spot among the 50 happiest countries in the world.