Sweden is the ‘goodest’ country in the world
Sweden is now ranked as the country making the most contribution to humanity overall, according to the Good Country Index, which tries to measure how much individual countries work and contribute toward the common good. Sweden ranked first in the Prosperity & Equality as well as Health & Wellbeing categories, with its 52nd position in International Peace & Security as its lowest placement. It achieved the 3rd spot for Culture and 7th for Planet & Climate.The latest edition of the index placed the European country on top, outperforming 162 other nations in a league table that was based on 35 indicators from different sources that include the United Nations and World Bank.Ireland dropped from number one spot to 11th overall in the world, surpassed by Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Canada, France, Austria, and New Zealand.There was surprise and puzzlement in 2014 when the Republic of Ireland topped the first Good Country Index, outranking 130 other countries.The Republic of Ireland claimed the number one spot in the equality and prosperity category and was ranked fourth when it came to world order, seventh in culture, and ninth in the health and wellbeing category in that ranking.The results were somewhat surprising, as the data used was from 2010, during the depths of the recession.In the latest index, which was based on figures from 2011, the Republic of Ireland ranked 19th in terms of its contribution to science and technology, 22nd in the culture category, 51st in international peace and security, 17th in the world order, 23rd in prosperity and equality and 17th in health and wellbeing.
The biannual ranking, according to its creator Simon Anholt, intends to encourage countries to increase their collaboration and cooperation, and go easy on the competition. Some 35 different UN indices are measured, including national contributions to science, culture, peace and security, climate change and health and equality.Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea and Libya were the countries which were judged to have contributed least to humanity in the latest index. “Sweden is a bit of an elite when it comes to thinking about the rest of the world. The European model is one that trained countries to be much more outward looking, and Sweden is that more than the others,” according to the author of the report who added that Sweden lost points in the International Peace & Security category mainly due to its arms exports. The year before, however, it came substantially lower at 111th place. In 2014, the Afghanistan-based International Security Assistance Force in which Swedish troops took part ended. Sweden is “killing fewer people abroad” and thus free to be called the goodest, said report author. In addition, the report authors added that “there’s no opinion or perception involved at all. The numbers are all collected by UN agencies and other major international bodies. It’s as objective as anything like this can possibly be.” “It’s as objective as the United Nations could be, which is fairly objective. Most of these countries are UN member states so if they don’t like the data they should complain to the UN, not to us.” The Good Country Index was created to change how leaders run countries, according to its website. It aims to show they are responsible not just for their own citizens but “for every man, woman, child, and animal on the planet,” and not just for their own territory but “for the whole of the earth’s surface and the atmosphere above it.”