The Sustainable Development Solutions Network released their third annual “World Happiness Report” this week. This report, as the name suggests, ranks countries not by GDP or test scores or other more depressing metrics, but by a metric that is often ignored and immeasurably important: happiness.

According to CNN, the SDSN hopes to use this report to “encourage governments at every level to measure and improve their people’s happiness.” And if you think this is a silly or useless endeavour, think again.

The report shows that people who live in the happiest countries enjoy longer life expectancies, more social support, more generosity, less corruption (or at least a lower perception of corruption), and more freedom… among other benefits.

But we want to make another, equally important point. We believe that people living in the happiest countries on Earth enjoy one other commodity: spectacular beauty.

Below, we’ve listed out the top 10 happiest countries — in order from 10th all the way to 1st — alongside a set of photos from the 500px community showing just how gorgeous these countries are. After all, if you’re gonna tour the happiest countries in the world, it really ought to inspire some serious wanderlust, don’t you think?

10. Australia

Just a hop skip and a jump away from Middle Earth and boasting some of the most beautiful natural and man-made structures on Earth, it’s no surprise Australia made the list. Plus, they have The Great Barrier Reef… ’nuff said.

See more beautiful photographs of Australia by 500px photographers by clicking here.

9. New Zealand

Beating out its neighbor by a single spot, Middle Earth New Zealand would be a shoe in for any “most beautiful” list, but you might not realize that it’s also one of the 10 happiest places on Earth.

Making the list for the first time this year, New Zealand boasts some of the most beautiful scenery around, including Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the majestic Mount Doom Mount Ngauruhoe.

See more of New Zealand’s beauty by clicking here, be you a hobbit, elf, wizard, or dwarf.

8. Sweden

Aurora borealis, snow-covered forests, frozen seascapes and gorgeous castles — it’s no wonder the Swedes are so happy. If you haven’t already added this one to your “must photograph” bucket list, you’re about to.

Browse through more photos of beautiful Sweden, the 8th happiest country in the world, by clicking here.

7. Netherlands

Not only does the country’s iconic capital, Amsterdam, defy description and categorization, straying out of this picturesque city might lead you into the midst of hundreds of thousands of tulips. It’s also home to the 7th happiest people in the world — not sure if it’s because of the tulips or Amsterdam, but to each his own right?

See more of the Netherlands’ vast architectural and natural beauty by clicking here.

6. Finland

As a Christmas fanatic, I’m convinced Finland was carried to the number 6th happiest country in the world spot almost singlehandedly by the Finnish forrest reindeer. Of course, it could also be the gorgeous countryside or the beauty and bustle of its capital, Helsinki.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… definitely the reindeer.

Want to see more of Finland’s beauty? Click here to browse through more stunning photos of the country captured by the 500px community.

5. Canada

If Finland owes its spot on the list to reindeer, then Canada definitely owes it to the fact that 500px is based in Toronto right? Don’t answer that… but it seems the sterotype of the polite Canadian may have some legs. Of course they’re polite, they’re the 5th happiest people on Earth.

Want to get further acquainted with the 5th happiest country in the world, eh? Just click here… please… sorry.

4. Norway

People visit Norway from all over the globe to see the northern lights, trolltunga, the Lofoten islands, and much much more because they are just. that. freaking. beautiful. Plus, in the summer, the sun never sets in some spots.

High on many a photographer’s must-visit list, it’s also an incredibly happy place, ranking number 4 in the world this year.

More gorgeous photos of Norway’s wilderness and cities alike await you, just click this link.

3. Denmark

Denmark actually has a reason to be upset this year: in the past year they’ve dropped from number 1 to number 3. That’s not to say this country isn’t both gorgeous and still incredibly happy. I mean, they’re happier than Canada, and Canada has 500px HQ!

In all seriousness, this is another dream photography destination. Whether you’re there to photograph the people and festivals, the gorgeous architecture, or the epic landscapes, you’ll never find yourself far from something beautiful to stand in front of.

Take a vicarious trip to Denmark, the third happiest country in the world, right now by clicking here.

2. Iceland

Iceland — probably the most talked-about photography destination in the world the past several years — is chock full of every natural beauty you might ever want to experience. Combine that with the incredibly friendly (and happy, apparently) locals, and a vibrant culture that just screams “come visit us NOW,” and you’ve got yourself the second happiest place in the world.

Oh, and they have natural hot springs EVERYWHERE… #jealous

More of picturesque Iceland awaits on the other side of this link.

1. Switzerland

We’ve arrived! Switzerland, which last year found itself in third place, has dethroned Denmark this year to take the number 1 happiest country in the world spot. As with the rest of the countries on this list, there is almost too much here for photographers to dream about and drool over.

Medieval architecture, spectacular vistas and, of course, the happiest people on Earth all await you when you land in Switzerland. Not quite convinced you should book your flight yet? Go ahead and scroll down… we dare you.

For more photographs of the happiest country in the world, give this link a click and enjoy the ride.