The ‘goodest’ country in the world? It’s Ireland! But Iraq, Libya and Vietnam are worst in index that measures nations’ contribution to humanity
- The UK is the best country for its contribution to science and technology
- Outside of western Europe and English-speaking world, Costa Rica is highest
- Western Europe is the ‘goodest part of the world’, with nine of the top 10 countries
Ireland is the ‘goodest’ country in the world, according to a new survey which measures what 125 nations contribute to the planet and humanity.
The UK made it to the seventh place in the overall index but was crowned as the best country in the world for its contribution in terms of technology and science.
The Good Country Index, conceived by policy adviser Simon Anholt, analyses 35 different types of data from the UN, the World Bank and other international organisations and NGOs.
This includes information such as freedom of the press, the number of refugees hosted, the amount of weapons exported and the number of Nobel Prize winners. This it the first time the Index is published.
Countries are then ranked according to their contribution to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.
Maybe unsurprisingly, Iraq, Libya and Vietnam were the countries which contributed least to the global good.
Mr Anholt said the survey was not meant to name and shame nations or to give moral judgements, but to engage in a discourse about what is the role of countries in a global context.
He said: ‘The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.’
The Nordic Region, as might be expected, makes a collective contribution to humanity and the planet which is well in advance of any other region, while the US ranked 21st due to a poor record in terms of International Peace and Security.
Mr Anholt said he hopes the Index will transform the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions. He hopes it will spark debate about what the purpose of a country is.
He said: ‘Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet?
‘The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we’re all in deep trouble.’
‘Goodest’ African country: Kenya, at 26th place, is the only country on the continent to break into the top 30
Outside of western Europe and the English-speaking world, the highest ranked country is Costa Rica, which comes in at 22nd place, while Chile was ranked in 24th place.
The African nation which contributes most to the planet is Kenya, which, at 26th place, is the only country on the continent to break into the top 30.
Researchers said Kenya was an ‘inspiring example’ which showed that making a meaningful contribution to society is ‘by no means the exclusive province of rich “first-world” nations’.
Nevertheless, nine of the top 10 countries are in Western Europe, making it by far the ‘goodest’ part of the world. Belgium was the first country in the world for its contribution in terms of culture, while Spain came top in the health and well-being category.
Russia ranked 95th, with its contributions to the global good close to those of Honduras and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while India made it to the 81st place, well ahead of China at 107th place.
Mr Anholt called for countries to stop behaving ‘as if they are islands’.
He said: ‘The whole world is connected as never before, yet we still treat countries as if each one was located on its own private planet.
‘It’s time countries started thinking much harder about the international consequences of their actions; if they don’t, the global challenges like climate change, poverty, economic crises, terrorism, drugs and pandemics will only get worse.’