What makes a country happy?

According to 24/7 Wall St, the financial news provider, economic prosperity, health and a strong social support network are indicators that correspond highly with the happiness of countries.

Based on its examination of the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Better Life Index report on life satisfaction in the developed world, 24/7 Wall St. has released a list of the ten happiest countries in the world in 2012.

While it is understandable that the US, which is still reeling under the pressures of economic downturn, low job security rate and a relatively high long-term unemployment rate, misses the top ten by just one position, the fact that trouble-torn countries like Israel feature in the top ten is hugely surprising.

"Once again, the United States fails to make the top 10 happiest nations in the world, while countries like Australia, Israel and all of the Scandinavian nations do," 24/7 Wall St. said in a statement on Tuesday.

Some of the major factors identified for measuring happiness quotient and overall life satisfaction in nations include economic prosperity involving regional economy growth, housing, income and employment.

"Of the 10 countries with the highest job satisfaction rates, nine are among the 15 with the lowest long-term unemployment rates - the percentage of the population that has been unemployed for more than a year, "the report added

Besides these obvious factors, physical and social well-being, available leisure time, education, the environment, civic engagement, safety and work-life balance are also some of the largest determinants of happiness for a nation, according to OECD report.

Check out the slideshow to find out which are the ten happiest countries in the world, for 2012 and which is absolutely the happiest spot in the world, based on scores in overall life satisfaction, employment rate, self-reported good health, employees working long hours, disposable income, educational attainment and life expectancy...

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