By John Hall for MailOnline
Switzerland is the world's happiest nation thanks to healthy GDP figures, strong social bonds and an increasing life expectancy, a new study of global wellbeing has revealed.
The list is dominated by European nations, particularly those in Scandinavia, and measures a country's population by factors contributing to its citizens' contentment, rather than wealth.
Britons are happier now than they were two years ago, the study found, but still ranks in at a relatively lowly 21st place. And despite often mocking its northern neighbour as an inferior nation, the United States is a full 10 places below Canada, ranking at 10th and fifth respectively.
Unsurprisingly the world's least happy countries are places ravaged by war and extreme poverty - with Syria, Burundi and Togo taking their place at the bottom of the 158-nation strong list.
Spectacular: Icelandic citizens are now so happy that the country jumped from number nine in 2013 to number two this year, thanks in part to their well beautiful scenery (pictured) and cultural history.
The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third of its kind and is edited by a team of renowned academics and analysts - among them American economist Jeffrey Sachs and head of the London School of Economics' 'wellbeing' programme, Richard Laynard.
First published in 2012, the study uses a range of factors to determine how happy a nation is, ranging from purely domestic perspectives - such as GDP and life expectancy figures - to how its citizens view themselves and their country within the world at large.
THE 10 HAPPIEST NATIONS
1. Switzerland 6. Finland
2. Iceland 7. Netherlands
3. Denmark 8. Sweden
4. Norway 9. New Zealand
5. Canada 10. Australia
This year's study is the first to additionally break the statistics down by age and gender, however, with it possible for readers to find, for example, that a country ranking relatively highly overall, has a hidden population of deeply unhappy young women concerned about equal rights and pay.
The top 10 on the list is dominated by nations from Scandinavia - which are unsurprisingly also among the wealthiest on the planet too.
Equally unsurprising are the countries lower at the bottom of the list - almost all of which are in the midst by bloody civil war, political unrest or crushing poverty.
One surprising anomaly, however, is Palestine, which came just below the midway point in the study at number 108, despite being ravaged by conflict.
Fierce rivalry: Despite often mocking their northern neighbour as an inferior nation, U.S. nationals (left) are a full 10 places below Canadians (right), ranking at 10th and fifth respectively.