The Netherlands has emerged the world leader in a new index that aims to distinguish itself by measuring a country not by its own prosperity, but by its contribution to the “common good of humanity.” A look at the top 10 countries on the latest edition of the Good Country Index suggests that overall, European countries make the world a better place, particularly Nordic and Scandinavian countries.
Because along with the Netherlands, the top 10 spots are occupied by countries in Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
The top-ranked country outside of Europe is Canada, which makes an appearance in 14th position, followed by Singapore in 15th spot. The U.S. is ranked 25th. Spearheaded by influential policy advisor Simon Anholt, the ranking is compiled using 35 datasets from the UN and NGOs.
Information is categorized in seven broad themes: science and technology; culture; international peace and security; world order; planet and climate; prosperity and equality; health and well-being. While other country lists may shed light on the places in the world where inhabitants are happiest and most prosperous, the aim of The Good Country Index is to show which countries are “a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, and something in between,” reads the report.
“Because the biggest challenges facing humanity today are global and borderless: climate change, economic crisis, terrorism, drug trafficking, slavery, pandemics, poverty and inequality, population growth, food and water shortages, energy, species loss, human rights, migration … the list goes on. All of these problems stretch across national borders, so the only way they can be properly tackled is through international efforts,” reads an explainer of the list’s raison d’etre.
— Simon Anholt (@SimonAnholt) December 11, 2017
“The trouble is, most countries carry on behaving as if they were islands, focusing on developing domestic solutions to domestic problems. We’ll never get anywhere unless we start to change this habit.” The Netherlands scores top marks in categories like culture, world order and prosperity and equality.
Here are the top 10 countries:
1. The Netherlands