The Good Country Index tries to measure how much each country contributes to the planet and to the human race. Using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations, we’ ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’ s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, etc.
The ‘Good Country’ concept and the Good Country Index were developed by Simon Anholt. The Index was built by Dr Robert Govers with support from several other organisations, and funded by Simon Anholt.
The Good Country Index doesn’ t measure what countries do at home: not because I think these things don’ t matter, of course, but because there are plenty of surveys that already do that. 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. I hope that looking at these results will encourage you to take part in that discussion.
The researchers have used 35 reliable datasets which track the way that most countries on earth behave: there are five of these in each of seven categories, covering the big issues like education, science, war and peace, trade, culture, health, censorship, the environment, freedom, etc. Most of these datasets are produced by the United Nations and other international agencies, and a few by NGOs and other organisations.
These datasets are combined into a common measure which gives an overall ranking, a ranking in each of the seven categories, and a balance-sheet for each country that shows at a glance how much it contributes to the world and how much it takes away.
More technically, countries receive scores on each indicator as a fractional rank (0=top rank, 1=lowest) relative to all countries for which data is available. The category rankings are based on the mean fractional ranks on the 5 indicators per category (subject to maximum 2 missing values per category). The overall rank is based on the average of the category ranks.