Whenever we hear about the happiest nation on earth, we tend to think towards Scandinavia – home of Lego, Ikea, wife-carrying and – if the Icelanders are to be believed – elves and trolls too.

According to the recently released ‘World Happiness Report 2017’, Norway has expelled Denmark into second place, whilst Iceland sits in third with Switzerland and Finland following. Of the top 20 happiest nations, 13 are in Europe, whilst Canada and the US represent North America, Chile flies the flag for South America and Costa Rica does so for Central America. Israel ensures the Middle East gets a mention and Australia and New Zealand promote Oceania.

The United Kingdom advanced four spots to 19th place, ahead of Chile but below countries such as Belgium, Germany, Costa Rica and the US.

The top ranking countries fared well on factors such as GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy and freedom.

Norway’s economic policies have been key in driving happiness up amongst their citizens. Contrary to other resource-rich nations, Norway has invested its revenues into its future, rather than spending in the present to avoid the “boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies”, according to the report.

Unsurprisingly, war-torn Syria and Yemen sit very low amongst eight African nations in the bottom ten.