NORTHERN LIGHT

This is what life looks like in the happiest places on Earth

Life is good in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Life is good in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Image: Reuters/Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Scanpix Denmark
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The fourth edition of the World Happiness Report found Denmark is once again home to the happiest people on earth, while people in Burundi are the least happy.

Researchers found social support, incomes, and life expectancy to be the three most important factors in determining overall happiness. They also found that people are significantly happier living in societies where there is less inequality. This year, the top ten happiest countries are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden—and here’s what they look like:

1. Denmark

People walk along an avenue of blossoming cherry trees in Copenhagen, Denmark.
People walk along an avenue of blossoming cherry trees in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Image: Reuters/Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Scanpix Denmark

2. Switzerland

A cheese maker gathers his cows in Gruyeres, Switzerland.
A cheese maker gathers his cows in Gruyeres, Switzerland.
Image: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

3. Iceland

People relax in a hot spring near the town of Grindavik, Iceland.
People relax in a hot spring near the town of Grindavik, Iceland.
Image: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

4. Norway

A man cycles past a warehouse in Oslo, Norway.
A man cycles past a warehouse in Oslo, Norway.
Image: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

5. Finland

A demonstration against racism in Helsinki, Finland on July 28th, 2015.
A demonstration against racism in Helsinki, Finland on July 28th, 2015.
Image: Reuters/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva

6. Canada

Youths play pond hockey near the town of Bobcaygeon, Canada.
Youths play pond hockey near the town of Bobcaygeon, Canada.
Image: Reuters/Fred Thornhill

7. Netherlands

Cyclists visit a Dutch tulip field in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Cyclists visit a Dutch tulip field in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Image: Reuters/Michael Kooren

8. New Zealand

A woman dives from a platform into a giant air bed at a festival for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
A woman dives from a platform into a giant air bed at a festival for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Image: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

9. Australia

A couple embraces as they watch the first sunrise of the new year on Bondi Beach in Australia.
A couple embraces as they watch the first sunrise of the new year on Bondi Beach in Australia.
Image: Reuters/Jason Reed

10. Sweden

A skater speeds on rain-wet ice on lake Orlangen, south of Stockholm, Sweden.
A skater speeds on rain-wet ice on lake Orlangen, south of Stockholm, Sweden.
Image: Reuters/Tobias Rostlund/TT News Agency

Nordic countries, which have strong social safety nets and free public services like education and healthcare, have consistently taken the top spots on the list. In fact, Denmark topped the first World Happiness Report, published in 2012, as well as the second report, published in 2013. Last year, Switzerland and Iceland topped the list, knocking Denmark down to third.

The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a group of specialists convened by the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and came out ahead of UN World Happiness day on March 20.