Switzerland is the happiest country, World Happiness Report finds

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Europe Is Smiling About Happiest Countries Rankings

The third World Happiness Report came out Thursday, providing further evidence that northern Europe can be a great place to live.

Switzerland is the happiest country on Earth, according to the report released by the U.N. supported Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Swiss took the top spot from Denmark, which came in third this year after a first place showing in 2014.

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World's Happiest Countries
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Switzerland is the happiest country, World Happiness Report finds

5. Canada

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4. Iceland

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3. Denmark

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2. Norway

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1. Switzerland

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World's Happiest Countries
1. Switzerland
2. Iceland
3. Denmark
4. Norway
5. Canada

The top five happiest countries have reshuffled since last year, but the study's authors noted in their report that "the differences between them are not statistically significant."

The U.S. came in 15th place in the report. That's two places higher than the 2013 rankings, but still below America's 2012 debut at No. 11.

The report bases its rankings on data from the 2012-2014 Gallup World Polls, which asked people from over 150 countries how they rated their quality of life on a scale from 1-10.

The researchers use six key factors to calculate up about 75 percent of a country's happiness level: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, perceived freedom, prevalence of generosity and perceptions of corruption.

"income alone cannot secure our well-being. True happiness depends on social capital, not just financial capital," the study's editor Jeffery Sachs points out in a Huffington Post editorial.

Qatar proves that, coming only in 28th place in the happiness report, despite having the world's highest GDP per capita, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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