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Be holiday happy: which are the happiest countries in the world?

Did you jump out of bed this morning with a smile upon your face, delighted to be living the life you do, in the place you are? Well, according to the UN, you’re most likely to have done so if you live in Denmark. Residents of the land of Lego and bacon were recently awarded the title of happiest people in the world following the second World Happiness Report by the United Nations General Assembly.

The report used several factors to create the list, including a survey of thousands of people in each country. They were then ranked on real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.

Northern Europe in particular is well represented in the top five happiest nations, with Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden also featuring. The first non-European nation to get a look in is Canada at number six, with Finland, Austria, Iceland and Australia filling out the rest of the top 10.

In Central America, the beautiful country of Costa Rica made 12th place. This follows a 2012 report from the New Economics Foundation, called the Happy Planet Index, that ranked Costa Rica as the overall happiest. It’s certainly a gorgeous country, boasting both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, amazing beaches and fantastic wildlife – it’s no wonder holidays in Costa Rica are becoming increasingly popular. And, if you go here for a break, you’ll be supporting the nation’s environmental endeavours. The country is very protective its natural assets and promotes conservation of animals such as the leatherback turtle. Costa Rica is also aiming to be the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2021 – an ambitious but admirable goal.

Asia’s happiest people are in the United Arab Emirates, best illustrated by the growth in Dubai. The most populated Emirate has seen a tourism boom as visitors flock to see its unfathomably tall buildings and shop at its luxurious malls. They’re even building a luxury underwater hotel there!

According to the report, the most content people in Africa are from Angola followed by the island paradise of Mauritius.

The United Kingdom came 22nd in the survey but the good news is that the whole world is getting happier, with the results of this survey showing a rise in general worldwide happiness since the previous survey.

The top 20 happiest countries in the world are:

The full report is available here.

Do you agree with the survey results? Let us know!