In pictures: The top 10 happiest countries in the world

Finland is the happiest place to live.

The World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries by happiness levels, based on factors such as life expectancy, social support and corruption.

And it was Finland that came on top, nudging neighbouring Norway into second place. The United States fell to 18th place from 14th last year. Germany came in 15th place, while the United Kingdom was 19th.

Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute, said the five Nordic countries that reliably rank high in the index ‘are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives’.

He also noted that the happiness revealed in the survey derives from healthy amounts of both personal freedom and social security that outweigh residents having to pay ‘some of the highest taxes in the world’.