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Good Country Index, the ranking of the best countries in the world

The index examines how nations contribute to “the common good of humanity” measuring their wellbeing, equality, CO2 reduction. Sweden is ranked first.

Sweden is the “goodest” nation among the 163 countries assessed by the Good Country Index. The index examines how each country impacts on the planet and contributes to the “common good of humanity”.

good country index
Sweden is ranked first in the Good Country Index © Chris Jackson / Getty

“The Good Country Index doesn’t measure what countries do at home. This isn’t because we think these things are unimportant, of course, but because there are plenty of surveys that already measure them,” the inventor of the survey Simon Anholt explains.

The ranking compares data from the UN Human Development Index and combines it with data that measure each country’s contribution to science and technology, calculating for example the number of foreign students studying in the country as well as the number of articles published in international journals; with data related to the peacekeeping troops sent overseas for UN missions as well as arms exports; and, finally, data measuring the contribution to the protection of the environment and sustainable development, to the protection of forests and reduction of CO2 emissions.

 

The best and worst countries in the Good Country Index

Sweden is the first in the ranking, followed by Denmark and Netherlands. In the lower end of the rankings there are Libya (163rd), Equatorial Guinea (162nd) and Central African Republic (161st).

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Iceland is ranked first for its contribution to climate © ullstein bild / Getty

The country that gave the best contribution to tackling climate change and reducing CO2 emissions is Iceland.

“What the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet”, Anholt states. “We hope that looking at these results will encourage you to take part in that discussion”.

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