(CBSNEWS) – With this year’s updated U.N. rankings due out tomorrow, the country that’s defending its title as the world’s champion of happiness is, quite possibly, NOT your first guess: CBS News’ Faith Salie reports: 

When you picture the happiest place in the world, you might imagine white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees. But it turns out, the happiest place is a bit different.

Welcome to Denmark, a small country of nearly six million people. No tropical beaches here — just rain for about 50% of the year. But despite the weather, this country still maintains a sunny disposition … so sunny, in fact, it’s been named the happiest country in the world.

“What we find when we study happiness around the world is that the definition is quite similar,” said Jeffrey Sachs, an author of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report, which ranks the happiness of 156 countries, and consistently places Denmark at or near the top of the list.

“People want to live well,” said Sachs. “They want to have money in their pocket and in the bank. They want to trust their government. They want to be healthy.”

Last year, America came in 13th place, behind Israel, and just a few notches ahead of Mexico and Brazil.


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