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And the Happiest Place on Earth Is…

When Walt Disney called Disneyland “the happiest place on earth,” he was on to something crucial in destination marketing. Happy places entice; unhappy places don’t.

What is true for theme parks is just as true for countries. Given a choice, would you choose to visit a happy country or an unhappy country?

So, what are the world’s happiest countries? The World Happiness Report 2015 is an attempt to answer just that question. The study was based on results of a Gallup survey of wellbeing that assessed the following: per-capita GDP, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perception of corruption.

According to the report, the 10 happiest countries are as follows:

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

The U.S. ranked 15th, just behind Mexico.

At the other end of the spectrum, of the 158 countries evaluated, the 10 least happy were (from most to least unhappy):

  1. Togo
  2. Burundi
  3. Syria
  4. Benin
  5. Rwanda
  6. Afghanistan
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Ivory Coast
  9. Guinea
  10. Chad

The results might be worth factoring into your choice of countries to add to (or subtract from) your bucket list.

Food for (happy) thoughts!

Reader Reality Check

Any surprises?

This article originally appeared on

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