The report was released on March 20 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the United Nations on the occasion of the International Happiness Day.
The ranking is based on six criteria, including per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life of choice, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government and business.
According to the report, Norway displaced Denmark to take the title “world’s happiest country” this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.
Meanwhile, the least happy countries and territories were South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic.
The United States has dropped to the 14th from last year’s 13th due to increasing inequality and corruption and declining public trust.
Happy countries are the ones which have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in society, low inequality and confidence in government, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN and special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, told reporters.
The report aims to provide governments, businesses and civil societies with another tool to help their countries to find a better way to happiness, he added.
The United Nations in July 2012 proclaimed March 20 the International Happiness Day, confirming that happiness and well-being are universal goals and aspirations of human beings around the world.