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World’s Top 10 Happiest Countries

Explore the world’s 10 most happy and healthy places, according to the leading global happiness measurement the Happy Planet Index.

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10: Ecuador

Ecuador is making its debut on the top 10 happiest countries list, and that could have a lot to do with the government's recently adopted mantra of "buen vivir," or "good living." The nation offers a wide range of landscapes including mountains and volcanoes, which are home to wild alpacas, alongside lush green rainforests and sandy beaches. The Ecuadorians love their natural environment so much, they even amended their constitution to protect it. This country is a prime example of the benefits of self-care.

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Photo: iStock/Oleh_Slobodeniuk

9: Thailand

The "Land of Smiles" is living up to its name. The Thai people are known for being the most friendly in the world. From the breathtaking coast in the south to the jungles of the north it's no wonder anyone who lives in or travels to this part of the world just can't resist cracking a smile.

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8: Bangladesh

Despite being one of the most densely populated nations in the world, Bangladesh has the second smallest ecological footprint in the world. The country's incredible architecture and gorgeous landscapes make Bangladesh a gem of Southeast Asia.

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Photo: Getty/SimonDannhauer

7: Nicaragua

This Central American country values its natural beauty, with a very low ecological footprint score. Adventurous travelers are starting to take note too since the country offers amazing experiences like sandboarding down an active volcano. Locals are excited to see tourism grow rapidly here, with increasing interest in Nicaragua's eco-tourism, surfing and off-the-beaten-path vibe. And it might surprise you, but this country is one of the safest in Central America -- that’s something for locals to feel good about, too.

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