What makes a country happy? Well, it seems Australia has figured out the secret, after ranking as one of the happiest countries in the world.

This year’s United Nations World Happiness Report compiled data from 158 countries and determined their ‘happiness’ according to six key factors: the level of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, individual freedom, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

The report said this criteria was needed to ensure that degrees of happiness didn’t just correlate with a country’s wealth.

Switzerland took the top spot this year with a 7.5 out of 10 for well-being.

While New Zealand and Australia rounded off the top 10 with almost identical averages just below 7.3, with a fraction of a point pushing New Zealand up to 9th place. 

The 20 happiest countries in the world 

  1. Switzerland
  2. Iceland
  3. Denmark
  4. Norway
  5. Canada
  6. Finland
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Sweden
  9. New Zealand
  10. Australia
  11. Israel
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Austria
  14. Mexico
  15. United States
  16. Brazil
  17. Luxembourg
  18. Ireland
  19. Belgium
  20. United Arab Emirates

The 20 unhappiest countries in the world 

  1. Togo
  2. Burundi
  3. Syria
  4. Benin
  5. Rwanda
  6. Afghanistan
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Ivory Coast
  9. Guinea
  10. Chad
  11. Central African Republic
  12. Madagascar
  13. Tanzania
  14. Cambodia
  15. Niger
  16. Gabon
  17. Senegal
  18. Uganda
  19. Comoros
  20. Congo (Brazzaville)

These results come just a couple of weeks after the Deutsche Bank’s annual world consumer price index listed Australia as the world’s most expensive country to live and work

The World Happiness Survey also noted Australia had the second highest population volunteer rate at nearly 38 per cent, just behind Canada.

Do you feel like Australia is one of the happiest places on Earth? Have your say in the comments below!