Happy boy

Being happy, raising happy children, and living in a happy environment are all essential factors of a person's wellbeing, which is why experts across multiple fields came together in 2012 to begin assessing the overall happiness of different places around the world. These experts, who represent a variety of fields like psychology, health and national statistics, have one goal in mind: to shed light on the importance of happiness as a criteria for government policy.

To that end, the third World Happiness Report was published yesterday by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The report analyzes the life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, corruption, and levels of gross domestic product of over 150 countries.

According to this year's report, these are the top 10 happiest countries:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Iceland
  3. Denmark
  4. Norway
  5. Canada
  6. Finland
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Sweden
  9. New Zealand
  10. Australia

It came as no surprise that the Netherlands made list—earlier this year, a study compared the happiness of Dutch babies to that of American babies. Unfortunately, the United States has not yet made an appearance in the top 10, but did rank 11th in the 2012 report and 15th in this year's report.

While you might not reside in one of the happiest countries on Earth, these countries are a perfect choice for your next family getaway!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Image: Happy boy via Shutterstock