The Human Truth Foundation

What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life

By Vexen Crabtree 2020

#human_development #politics


1. The Criteria: Human Rights & Tolerance

Human Rights & Tolerance

Overall Results:
Best: Denmark, Sweden, Norway
Regions: Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe1
Worst: Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Palestine
Regions: Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia1
Constituent Data Sets: Human Rights & Tolerance
1. Human Rights Watch CommentsBest: France, Germany, UK
Worst: 10-country draw
2. Nominal Commitment to HRBest: Argentina, 12-country draw
Worst: Kiribati, Bhutan, 4-country draw
3. HR Treaties LagBest: Ecuador, Uruguay, Tunisia
Worst: Palestine, Marshall Islands, Palau
4. Personal, Civil & Economic FreedomBest: Hong Kong, Switzerland, New Zealand
Worst: Libya, Yemen, Iran
5. Press FreedomBest: Finland, Netherlands, Norway
Worst: Eritrea, N. Korea, Turkmenistan
6. SlaveryBest: Japan, Canada, Taiwan
Worst: N. Korea, Eritrea, Burundi
Constituent Data Sets: Gender Equality
7. Gender InequalityBest: Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands
Worst: Yemen, Niger, Chad
8. Year Women Can VoteBest: Saudi Arabia, Vatican City, New Zealand
Worst: Kuwait, Qatar, 2-country draw
Constituent Data Sets: Prejudice
9. Anti-Semite OpinionsBest: Laos, Philippines, Sweden
Worst: Iraq, Yemen, 2-country draw
10. LGBT EqualityBest: Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden
Worst: Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia
> > > Details and Commentary on these data sets

2. The Criteria: Health

Health

Overall Results:
Best: Hong Kong, Singapore, Maldives
Regions: Scandinavia, Asia and Europe2
Worst: S. Sudan, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea
Regions: Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia2
Constituent Data Sets: Health
1. Life ExpectancyBest: Hong Kong, Japan, Italy
Worst: Swaziland, Lesotho, Sierra Leone
2. Alcohol ConsumptionBest: 5-country draw
Worst: Moldova, Lithuania, Czechia
3. Fertility RateBest: Hong Kong, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Malta
Worst: Niger, Somalia, Zambia
4. Smoking RatesBest: Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati
Worst: Montenegro, Belarus, Lebanon
5. Suicide RateBest: Grenada, Haiti, Egypt
Worst: Lithuania, Russia, S. Korea
6. Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO ComplianceBest: Sweden, Ireland, Denmark
Worst: Angola, St Vincent & Grenadines, Mauritania
7. Overweight AdultsBest: Vietnam, India, Bangladesh
Worst: Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands
Constituent Data Sets: Children's Health
8. Adolescent Birth RateBest: N. Korea, S. Korea, Switzerland
Worst: Niger, Mali, Angola
9. Infant Immunizations 2011-2015Best: China, Hungary, Uzbekistan
Worst: Equatorial Guinea, S. Sudan, Somalia
> > > Details and Commentary on these data sets

3. The Criteria: Modernity and Education

Modernity and Education

Overall Results:
Best: Finland, Belgium, Denmark
Regions: Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe
Worst: Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Djibouti
Regions: Africa, Melanesia and Micronesia
Constituent Data Sets: Modernity and Education
1. Research and DevelopmentBest: S. Korea, Israel, Japan
Worst: Lesotho, 3-country draw
2. Secondary EducationBest: 6-country draw
Worst: Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso
3. Length of SchoolingBest: Australia, Belgium, Finland
Worst: S. Sudan, Eritrea, Niger
4. Intellectual EndeavoursBest: Ukraine, Czechia, Hungary
Worst: Angola, Iraq, Bolivia
5. Maths, Science & ReadingBest: Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan
Worst: Dominican Rep., Algeria, Kosovo
6. ReligiosityBest: Estonia, Sweden, Denmark
Worst: Bangladesh, Niger, 4-country draw
7. IQBest: Singapore, Hong Kong, S. Korea
Worst: 6-country draw
Constituent Data Sets: Technology and Information
8. Internet UsersBest: Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway
Worst: Eritrea, Timor-Leste (E. Timor), Burundi
9. Freedom On The InternetBest: Estonia, USA, Germany
Worst: Iran, Cuba, China
10. IT SecurityBest: Belize, Ireland, Luxembourg
Worst: USA, Russia, India
11. IPv6 UptakeBest: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland
Worst: 59-country draw
> > > Details and Commentary on these data sets

4. The Criteria: National Culture

National Culture

Constituent Data Sets: National Culture
1. Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
Best: Myanmar (Burma), USA, New Zealand
Worst: Burundi, Yemen, China
2. Corruption (2012-2016)Best: Denmark, New Zealand, Finland
Worst: Somalia, N. Korea, Afghanistan
3. HappinessBest: Finland, Norway, Denmark
Worst: Burundi, Central African Rep., S. Sudan
4. Creativity and CultureBest: Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia
Worst: Libya, Congo, DR, Rwanda
5. Open Trading, Aid and DevelopmentBest: Ireland, Denmark, Sweden
Worst: Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, Papua New Guinea
Constituent Data Sets: Peace Versus Instability
6. Global Peace IndexBest: Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand
Worst: Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan
7. Peacekeeping and SecurityBest: Samoa, S. Africa, Tunisia
Worst: Guinea-Bissau, Marshall Islands, Tonga
8. Refugees and UN TreatiesBest: Austria, Germany, Netherlands
Worst: Brunei, Tonga, Fiji
9. Impact of TerrorismBest: 13-country draw
Worst: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria
Constituent Data Sets: The Natural Environment
10. Forest Area Change 1990-2015Best: Iceland, Bahrain, Uruguay
Worst: Togo, Nigeria, Uganda
11. Environmental PerformanceBest: Switzerland, France, Denmark
Worst: Burundi, Bangladesh, Congo, DR
12. Energy to GDP EfficiencyBest: Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Panama
Worst: Serbia, Trinidad & Tobago, Zimbabwe
13. Convention on Biological DiversityBest: USA, Vatican City, 30-country draw
Worst: Andorra, Palestine, S. Sudan
Constituent Data Sets: Economic Inequality and Poverty
14. Inequality in Life ExpectancyInformational only
15. Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient)Best: Ukraine, Belarus, Slovenia
Worst: S. Africa, Namibia, Zambia
16. Multidimensional PovertyBest: Armenia, Ukraine, Serbia
Worst: Niger, S. Sudan, Chad

4.1. Personnal Charitability (World Position, 2013-2016)

#charity #finland #morals #myanmar_(burma) #norway #sweden #USA

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
3
Pos.Lower is better3
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
4Canada3.75
5Australia5.25
6UK6.75
7Ireland6.75
8Sri Lanka8
9Qatar9
10Trinidad & Tobago10
11Netherlands10
12UAE12
13Bahrain13
14Norway13.33
15Malta14
16Indonesia14.75
17Iceland16
18Bhutan17.5
19Kenya17.75
20Jamaica20.5
q=156.
Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
3
Pos.Higher is worse3
156Burundi145
155China136.25
154Yemen136.25
153Palestine135
152Greece133
151Turkey128
150Congo, DR126.5
149Armenia126.25
148Lithuania126.25
147Russia126
146Serbia125
145Rwanda122.75
144Bulgaria122
143Montenegro121.75
142Tunisia121
141Morocco119
140Togo118
139Georgia117.75
138Venezuela117.5
137Czechia116.5
q=156.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) produces annual statistical analysis of personal charitable acts by individual individuals. It takes into account the helping of strangers, donations to charity and charitable volunteer work. Myanmar and the USA's people are commendable for their generosity. The ratings system is however biased towards grassroots-charitability and because of this, it is not wise to draw moral conclusions from the data. Some countries have a top-down approach to social aid. For example, in highly socialist countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden the government itself is paid by citizens (through very high taxes) to engage in a lot of social work. Therefore there is a culture in which individuals feel they already contribute to charity - a charitable social safety net is centralized and organized, and well funded, but is not reflected in Charities Aid Foundation ratings. Some of those countries do score highest in measurements of how much aid is given to developing countries. Conversely, some of the lowest-ranking countries are clearly suffering from extreme poverty, and may lack the infrastructure that let's people volunteer time or give to charity.

4.2. Corruption

#corruption #democracy #politics

Corruption (2012-2016)4
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score4
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
4Sweden88.2
5Norway86.0
6Switzerland85.8
7Singapore85.2
8Netherlands83.4
9Canada82.2
10Luxembourg81.6
11Australia80.8
12Germany79.6
13Iceland79.2
14UK78.0
15Belgium76.0
16Hong Kong75.6
17Japan74.2
18USA74.0
19Ireland72.6
20Uruguay72.6
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)4
Pos.Lower is worse
Avg Score4
176Somalia08.4
175N. Korea08.8
174Afghanistan10.8
173Sudan12.2
172S. Sudan13.8
171Iraq16.6
170Libya16.8
169Turkmenistan18.2
168Uzbekistan18.4
167Yemen18.4
166Venezuela18.4
165Syria18.8
164Haiti18.8
163Guinea-Bissau19.2
162Angola19.4
161Eritrea19.8
160Burundi20.2
159Chad20.4
158Cambodia21.0
157Zimbabwe21.0
q=176.

Corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain5. There are many forms of corruption. Politicians can sometimes (1) steal money (theft or embezzlement), (2) accept bribes (such as backhanders for awarding government contracts to companies), (3) give bribes (i.e., for electoral support or support in the mass media), (4) improperly coerce others (extortion), (5) give positions of power to friends and family without fairly seeking other applicants for those jobs (cronyism), or (6) grant favours to friends and family (nepotism) such as buying services from them at inflated prices (graft). The least corrupt countries between 2012-2016 were Denmark, New Zealand and Finland4 and the worst were Somalia, N. Korea and Afghanistan4.

4.3. Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) 6

#capitalism #economics #inequality #social_development

Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)7
Pos.Lower is better
%7
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
4Czechia25.9
5Moldova25.9
6Slovakia26.5
7Finland27.1
8Kyrgyzstan27.3
9Kazakhstan27.5
10Norway27.5
11Algeria27.6
12Belgium27.7
13Iceland27.8
14Denmark28.2
15Netherlands28.2
16Serbia28.5
17Timor-Leste (E. Timor)28.7
18Albania29.0
19Sweden29.2
20Malta29.4
q=152.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)7
Pos.Higher is worse
%7
152S. Africa63.0
151Namibia59.1
150Zambia57.1
149Central African Rep.56.2
148Lesotho54.2
147Mozambique54.0
146Brazil53.3
145Botswana53.3
144Swaziland51.5
143St Lucia51.2
142Guinea-Bissau50.7
141Honduras50.5
140Panama49.9
139Colombia49.7
138Congo, (Brazzaville)48.9
137Paraguay48.8
136Costa Rica48.3
135Guatemala48.3
134Benin47.8
133Cape Verde47.2
q=152.

The Gini coefficient measures the imbalance amongst incomes in a country; lower scores are better. A score of 100 means there is absolute and universal inequality, and a score of 0 means that all incomes are distributed equally between people7. The results show differences in the averages between the continents, from best to worst: Europe (31.5), Asia (35.3), The Middle East (35.4), Australasia (38.3), Africa (42.6), North America (44.8) and South America (45.6)7.

4.4. Happiness

#denmark #finland #happiness #human_development #netherlands #norway

Happiness (2018)8
Pos.Higher is better8
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
4Iceland7.5
5Switzerland7.5
6Netherlands7.4
7Canada7.3
8New Zealand7.3
9Sweden7.3
10Australia7.3
11Israel7.2
12Austria7.1
13Costa Rica7.1
14Ireland7.0
15Germany7.0
16Belgium6.9
17Luxembourg6.9
18USA6.9
19UK6.8
20UAE6.8
q=156.
Happiness (2018)8
Pos.Lower is worse8
156Burundi2.9
155Central African Rep.3.1
154S. Sudan3.3
153Tanzania3.3
152Yemen3.4
151Rwanda3.4
150Syria3.5
149Liberia3.5
148Haiti3.6
147Malawi3.6
146Botswana3.6
145Afghanistan3.6
144Zimbabwe3.7
143Madagascar3.8
142Angola3.8
141Lesotho3.8
140Guinea4.0
139Togo4.0
138Ukraine4.1
137Sudan4.1
q=156.

Studying happiness is difficult and people tend to overstate their own happiness - in particular those who are aware of international studies of happiness and want to portray their country in a good light. It is also especially overstated by religious folk who are institutionalized into repeating the story of 'how happy my religion makes me'9.

Over many years, the happiest countries have been those of northern Europe - Finland, Norway, Denmark, plus the Netherlands. The unhappiest continent is Africa (by a wide margin).

It is of course true that the happiest people are not those who are necessarily leading the best lives. Excess, indulgence and short-term policy can all lead to a high rating on this chart; things like living morally and frugally, for example, do not automatically go hand in hand with happiness even though they are virtues. But by comparing national happiness to overall development via the Social And Moral index score; we see that overall national development is strongly correlated to average happiness. In other words, the key to making a population happy in the long term is the embracing of liberal democratic values, human rights, tolerance, good education, and a strong social net (which are the factors which cause high rankings on the Social & Moral index).

4.5. Creativity and Culture (GCI)

Creativity and Culture (2017)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
4Switzerland4
5Sweden5
6Denmark6
7Austria7
8Ireland8
9Czechia9
10Luxembourg10
11UK11
12Portugal12
13Finland13
14France14
15Germany15
16Slovenia16
17Latvia17
18Barbados18
19Hungary19
20Slovakia20
q=163.
Creativity and Culture (2017)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank10
163Libya163
162Congo, DR162
161Rwanda161
160Burundi160
159Central African Rep.159
158Gabon158
157Iran157
156Iraq156
155Yemen155
154Venezuela154
153Liberia153
152Syria152
151Guinea-Bissau151
150Pakistan150
149Zambia149
148Angola148
147Equatorial Guinea147
146Nigeria146
145Laos145
144Cameroon144
q=163.

The Good Country Index gauges how well countries are doing in helping international development. Their criteria on Contributions to Culture include:

  1. Creative goods exports: Exports of creative goods (UNCTAD's Creative Economy Report categorisation) relative to the size of the economy.

  2. Creative services exports: Exports of creative services (according to ITC's "trade in services" categories 10 and 11) relative to the size of the economy.

  3. UNESCO dues in arrears as % of contribution: UNESCO dues in arrears as percentage of contribution (negative indicator).

  4. Freedom of movement, i.e. visa restrictions: Number of countries and territories that citizens can enter without a visa (according to Henley & Partners).

  5. Press freedom: Freedom of the press (based on mean score for Reporters without Borders and Freedom House index as a negative indicator).

4.6. Open Trading, Aid and Development (GCI)

Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
4Netherlands4
5Switzerland5
6Serbia6
7Belgium7
8Norway8
9Finland9
10Croatia10
11Georgia11
12Philippines12
13Austria13
14Germany14
15Albania15
16Togo16
17France17
18Singapore18
19Malaysia19
20Nicaragua20
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank10
163Equatorial Guinea163
162Brazil162
161Papua New Guinea161
160Algeria160
159Brunei159
158Mauritania158
157Bahrain157
156Venezuela156
155Grenada155
154Paraguay154
153Iraq153
152Gabon152
151Suriname151
150Cameroon150
149India149
148Iran148
147Syria147
146Jamaica146
145Samoa145
144St Vincent & Grenadines144
q=163.

The Good Country Index gauges how well countries are doing in helping international development. Their criteria on Contribution to Prosperity and Equality include:

  1. Open trading: Trading across borders (open trading performance compared to best practice; i.e. IFC distance to frontier).

  2. UN volunteers abroad: Number of aid workers and volunteers sent overseas (according to UNV) relative to the size of the economy.

  3. Fairtrade market size: Fairtrade market size (according to Fairtrade International) relative to the size of the economy.

  4. FDI outflows: FDI outflow (according to UNCTAD) relative to the size of the economy.

  5. Development assistance: Development cooperation contributions (aid according to Development Initiatives) relative to the size of the economy.

4.7. Global Peace Index

#denmark #human_development #iceland #peace #politics #somalia #sri_lanka #switzerland #syria

Global Peace Index (2012)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
4Canada1.32
5Japan1.33
6Austria1.33
7Ireland1.33
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.40
13Czechia1.40
14Sweden1.42
15Germany1.42
16Portugal1.47
17Hungary1.48
18Norway1.48
19Bhutan1.48
20Malaysia1.49
q=157.
Global Peace Index (2012)11
Pos.Higher is worse11
157Somalia3.39
156Afghanistan3.25
155Sudan3.19
154Iraq3.19
153Congo, DR3.07
152Russia2.94
151N. Korea2.93
150Central African Rep.2.87
149Israel2.84
148Pakistan2.83
147Syria2.83
146Libya2.83
145Nigeria2.80
144Chad2.67
143Colombia2.63
142Yemen2.60
141India2.55
140Georgia2.54
139Zimbabwe2.54
138Myanmar (Burma)2.53
q=157.

"The 2012 Global Peace Index is the sixth edition of the world's leading study on global levels of peacefulness. The GPI ranks 158 nations using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, which gauge three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation. By generating new information on the state of peace at the national and global level, the Institute for Economics and Peace hopes to make a valuable contribution to better understanding how civil society, researchers, policymakers, and government can create a more peaceful society"11. The most peaceable countries in the world are Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand11 and the worst are Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan11.

GPI Fact Sheet

Other comments on the creation of the Peace Index:

The Dalai Lama said that he hoped the index would encourage countries to strive for peace. "Compiling and maintaining an index of which countries are the most peaceful and publishing the results will undoubtedly make the factors and qualities that contribute to that status better known and will encourage people to foster them in their own countries," he said.

The Guardian (2007)12

Despite the positive appeal of the Global Peace Index, it is imperfect and as with all international statistics, some countries appear to have a natural advantage. In this case, it is small countries which exist inside regional blocs, where their bigger neighbours spend on defence. You can't invade Denmark (2nd) or Switzerland (12th) without stepping on the toes of many other countries which have meatier defences, so there is less incentive for those countries to invest in defence. Although note that of course defence spending is only one of the many factors considered by the GPI, it is easy to imagine that a country such as Israel (151st), surrounded by aggressive neighbours, could never score well on this index.

4.8. Peacekeeping and Security (GCI)

Peacekeeping and Security (2017)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
4Egypt4
5Nigeria5
6Uruguay6
7Indonesia7
8Brunei8
9Moldova9
10Morocco10
11Oman11
12Tanzania12
13Cameroon13
14Singapore14
15Colombia15
16Costa Rica16
17Hungary17
18Japan18
19Chile19
20Kazakhstan20
q=163.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank10
163Guinea-Bissau163
162Marshall Islands162
161Tonga161
160Slovenia160
159Bahrain159
158Iraq158
157Yemen157
156Swaziland156
155Mali155
154Liberia154
153Lebanon153
152Afghanistan152
151Sierra Leone151
150Seychelles150
149Bosnia & Herzegovina149
148Central African Rep.148
147UAE147
146Croatia146
145Libya145
144Haiti144
q=163.

The Good Country Index gauges how well countries are doing in helping international development. Their criteria on Contributions to International Peace and Security include:

  1. Peacekeeping troops: Number of peacekeeping troops sent overseas for UN missions, relative to the size of the economy.

  2. Dues in arrears to UN peace keeping budgets as % of contribution: Dues in arrears to financial contribution to UN peacekeeping missions as percentage of contribution (negative indicator).

  3. International violent conflict: Attributed number of casualties of international organised violence (number of casualties per conflict divided by the number of countries involved according to UCDP/PRIO) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

  4. Arms exports: Exports of weapons and ammunition (according to ITC) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

  5. Internet security: Global Cybersecurity Index score (according to ITU).

4.9. Refugees and UN Treaties (GCI)

Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
4Sweden4
5Malta5
6Australia6
7Norway7
8Finland8
9Denmark9
10Switzerland10
11Canada11
12UK12
13Belgium13
14Italy14
15Spain15
16France16
17Cyprus17
18Slovenia18
19New Zealand19
20Luxembourg20
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank10
163Brunei163
162Tonga162
161Fiji161
160Equatorial Guinea160
159Laos159
158Vietnam158
157St Lucia157
156Ivory Coast156
155Congo, DR155
154Guyana154
153Angola153
152Grenada152
151Zimbabwe151
150Burundi150
149Marshall Islands149
148Bahamas148
147El Salvador147
146Central African Rep.146
145Chad145
144Rwanda144
q=163.

The Good Country Index gauges how well countries are doing in helping international development. Their criteria on Contributions to World Order include:

  1. Charity giving: Percentage of population that gives to charity (according to Charities Aid Foundation) as proxy for cosmopolitan attitude.

  2. Refugees hosted: Number of refugees hosted (according to UNHCR) relative to the size of the economy.

  3. Refugees generated: Number of refugees overseas (according to UNHCR) relative to the size of the population (negative indicator).

  4. Birth rate: Population birth rate (according to World Bank as negative indicator).

  5. UN Treaties signed: Number of UN treaties signed (up to 2014) as proxy for diplomatic action and peaceful conflict resolution.

4.10. The Impact of Terrorism

#extremism #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Impact of Terrorism (2019)13
Pos.Lower is better
Score13
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
4Equatorial Guinea0.00
5Cambodia0.00
6Portugal0.00
7Croatia0.00
8Benin0.00
9Mauritania0.00
10Slovenia0.00
11Costa Rica0.00
12Romania0.00
13El Salvador0.00
14Bhutan0.01
15Trinidad & Tobago0.02
16Uzbekistan0.02
17Qatar0.03
18Iceland0.03
19Panama0.04
20Guyana0.04
q=150.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)13
Pos.Higher is worse
Score13
150Afghanistan9.60
149Iraq9.24
148Nigeria8.60
147Syria8.01
146Pakistan7.89
145Somalia7.80
144India7.52
143Yemen7.26
142Philippines7.14
141Congo, DR7.04
140Egypt6.79
139Libya6.77
138Mali6.65
137Central African Rep.6.62
136Cameroon6.62
135Turkey6.53
134S. Sudan6.32
133Thailand6.03
132Colombia5.91
131Sudan5.81
q=150.

The scores are the combination of a five year weighted average, taking into account not only the total number of deaths due to terrorism, but also its impact. The scores are produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace, based on the global terrorism database14.

4.11. Forest Area Change 1990-2015

#biodiversity #central_african_republic #china #over-exploitation #sierra_leone #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)15
Pos.Higher is better
%15
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
4Kuwait81.2
5Dominican Rep.79.5
6Egypt65.9
7Vietnam65.6
8Ireland62.2
9Tunisia61.9
10Cuba56.9
11Cape Verde55.7
12Rwanda50.9
13Bhutan34.7
14Azerbaijan34.6
15Spain33.2
16China32.6
17Montenegro32.1
18Syria32.1
19UAE31.7
20Samoa31.5
q=184.
Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)15
Pos.Lower is worse
%15
184Togo-72.6
183Nigeria-59.4
182Uganda-56.4
181Mauritania-45.9
180Honduras-43.6
179Pakistan-41.7
178Niger-41.3
177N. Korea-38.7
176Sudan-37.5
175Zimbabwe-36.6
174Nicaragua-31.0
173El Salvador-29.7
172Mali-29.5
171Timor-Leste (E. Timor)-29.0
170Paraguay-27.6
169Chad-27.3
168Cambodia-26.9
167Myanmar (Burma)-25.9
166Guatemala-25.4
165Benin-25.2
q=184.

The World Wildlife Foundation says that 119-150km2 of forest is lost each year - "equivalent to 48 football fields every minute". They say:

Forests around the world are under threat from deforestation [which] comes in many forms, including fires, clear-cutting for agriculture, ranching and development, unsustainable logging for timber, and degradation due to climate change. This impacts people´s livelihoods and threatens a wide range of plant and animal species. [...]

Many of the world's most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter. [...] Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink - soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns. Deforestation undermines this important carbon sink function. It is estimated that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation.

World Wildlife Foundation (2017)16

In the international data table here, negative numbers means total forested area is shrinking in that country. Between 1990 and 2008 Sierra Leone lost 11% of its forest area, for example. Central African Republic lost 2.3%. Since 2008 China has been striving to meet a "2020 target for expanding the nation's forests to cover 23 percent of its landmass to combat climate change and soil erosion"17 and the United Nations reports that between 1990 and 2015, China increased its total forested area by one third.

4.12. Environmental Performance

#bhutan #climate_change #equatorial_guinea #haiti #iceland #switzerland #the_environment #turkmenistan #united_arab_emirates

Environmental Performance (2018)18
Pos.Higher is better18
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
4Malta80.9
5Sweden80.5
6UK79.9
7Luxembourg79.1
8Austria79.0
9Ireland78.8
10Finland78.6
11Iceland78.6
12Spain78.4
13Germany78.4
14Norway77.5
15Belgium77.4
16Italy77.0
17New Zealand76.0
18Netherlands75.5
19Israel75.0
20Japan74.7
q=180.
Environmental Performance (2018)18
Pos.Lower is worse18
180Burundi27.4
179Bangladesh29.6
178Congo, DR30.4
177India30.6
176Nepal31.4
175Madagascar33.7
174Haiti33.7
173Lesotho33.8
172Niger35.7
171Central African Rep.36.4
170Angola37.4
169Pakistan37.5
168Afghanistan37.7
167Benin38.2
166Mauritania39.2
165Eritrea39.3
164Papua New Guinea39.4
163Djibouti40.0
162Swaziland40.3
161Cameroon40.8
q=180.

The Environmental Performance Index includes 24 indicators including air pollution, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental health.

The worst countries on this scale generally use massive quantities of natural resources in an unsustainable manner and have populations that are rising quickly. Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates have only a tiny percentage of their primary energy supply sourced from renewables (both under 0.03%). Equatorial Guinea saw its CO2 emissions per person rise by 11% between 1970-2008, the second highest in the world after Bhutan. Incredibly for an island, under 13% of those in Haiti believe that human activity is causing global warming, whilst only 29% believe it in United Arab Emirates and Turkmenistan.

The best countries are not better in all criteria but normally excel in a few categories. Iceland produces 82% of its primary energy supply through renewable sources. Its CO2 emissions per person rose only by 0.1 percent. It more than doubled its forested area between 1990 and 2008. Switzerland reduced its CO2 emissions per person by 0.5% and also increased its forested areas.

4.13. Energy Use to GDP Efficiency

#environment #the_environment

Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)19
Pos.Higher is better19
1Hong Kong26.32
2Sri Lanka20.00
3Panama17.86
4Colombia17.54
5Ireland17.54
6Switzerland17.54
7Dominican Rep.16.95
8Mauritius15.63
9Malta15.15
10Singapore15.15
11Denmark14.93
12Peru14.49
13Uruguay14.08
14UK13.89
15Costa Rica13.51
16Philippines13.51
17Luxembourg13.33
18Bangladesh13.16
19Italy13.16
20Cyprus12.99
q=119.
Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)19
Pos.Lower is worse19
119Serbia00.72
118Trinidad & Tobago02.07
117Zimbabwe02.31
116Iceland02.41
115Mozambique02.47
114Ethiopia02.81
113Togo02.88
112Ukraine03.28
111Bahrain04.10
110S. Africa04.48
109Russia04.52
108Bosnia & Herzegovina04.52
107Benin04.69
106Kyrgyzstan04.78
105Tanzania04.81
104Ivory Coast04.85
103Moldova05.03
102Kazakhstan05.10
101Kenya05.24
100Iran05.32
q=119.

This data is only included for informational purposes, and is not used to calculate points. It could show how efficiently each country uses its energy. High values could mean that a country wastes little energy, and low values could mean that they use a lot of energy for little gain. However, some countries could be engaged heavily in endeavours that are worthwhile, but, which do not generate GDP. Some industries and services might outsource production, or be innately high-yield no matter what the nation's energy usage is. Likewise, GDP on its own does not matter - it is what people do with their wealth and resources that matters. GDP-generation isn't inherently worthwhile unless it goes into quality of living, education, scientific research, etc - all things that are already being measured on the Social & Moral Development Index. Hence, the energy-to-GDP is not being used in the formula.

4.14. Convention on Biological Diversity

#biodiversity #the_environment #USA

Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
4Vanuatu1993 Dec 29
5Papua New Guinea1993 Dec 29
6Mexico1993 Dec 29
7Armenia1993 Dec 29
8Ecuador1993 Dec 29
9Fiji1993 Dec 29
10Canada1993 Dec 29
11Monaco1993 Dec 29
12Maldives1993 Dec 29
13Marshall Islands1993 Dec 29
14Seychelles1993 Dec 29
15Mauritius1993 Dec 29
16Antigua & Barbuda1993 Dec 29
17Mongolia1993 Dec 29
18St Kitts & Nevis1993 Dec 29
19New Zealand1993 Dec 29
20Japan1993 Dec 29
q=197.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Later is worse
Signed
197USA
196Vatican City
195Andorra2015 May 05
194Palestine2015 Apr 02
193Somalia2009 Dec 10
192Iraq2009 Oct 26
191Brunei2008 Jul 27
190Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2007 Jan 08
189Montenegro2006 Jun 03
188Thailand2004 Jan 29
187Tuvalu2003 Mar 20
186Afghanistan2002 Dec 18
185Bosnia & Herzegovina2002 Nov 24
184Kuwait2002 Oct 31
183Serbia2002 May 30
182Saudi Arabia2002 Jan 01
181Libya2001 Oct 10
180Malta2001 Mar 29
179Liberia2001 Feb 06
178Azerbaijan2000 Nov 01
q=197.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was originally sparked from United Nations activity in the 1980s as a result of rising scientific alarm over the impact of human activity on natural habitats, including a rising awareness of extinctions and shifts in ecosystems that occasionally cause widespread disruption that is difficult (or impossible) to reverse.

After a long period of international consultation involving hundreds of scientists and environmental ministers, the Convention was finalized and launched at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and received 168 signatures over the subsequent year.

Part of the first wave of signees were a large number of small island nations, who are uniquely susceptible to over-exploitation by rich companies and countries, but simultaneously, are (as a group) the least responsible for driving global extinctions.

Data on when each country ratified the CBD forms part of the formula of the Social and Moral Development Index, with countries losing points for reticence (taking into account the foundation dates of newly independent countries). The USA stands alone in not ratifying it, but is the world's greatest driver for activities that cause biodiversity loss.

5. Table of Country Scores

#human_development

--- The Best ---20
Pos.
Avg Rank20
1Denmark27.7
2Norway28.3
3Finland29.6
4Taiwan30.2
5Sweden31.3
6Germany33.2
7Netherlands33.3
8Austria34.2
9New Zealand35.4
10Canada36.1
11Iceland36.9
12Switzerland37.2
13UK37.8
14Luxembourg38.3
15Australia39.9
16Japan40.3
17Ireland41.5
18Belgium41.9
19Spain42.0
20France43.3
21Italy45.2
22S. Korea45.9
23Czechia46.8
24Slovenia47.1
25Hungary47.3
26Estonia49.0
27Poland51.2
28Portugal51.2
29Singapore54.0
30USA54.4
31Slovakia56.0
32Cyprus56.9
33Costa Rica57.3
34Malta57.4
35Uruguay57.7
36Latvia59.3
37Chile59.6
38Romania61.1
39Croatia61.3
40Lithuania63.3
41Greece64.1
42Bulgaria66.2
43Mauritius66.5
44Israel66.6
45Brazil68.4
46Serbia68.5
47Albania69.4
48Argentina69.7
49Monaco70.5
50Kosovo73.2
51Moldova73.4
52Liechtenstein73.5
53Mongolia73.6
54Mexico73.7
55Malaysia73.9
56Bosnia & Herzegovina74.0
57Maldives74.4
58Barbados74.5
59Armenia75.3
60Tunisia75.5
61Ukraine75.5
62Peru75.7
63Macedonia75.9
64Cuba76.2
65Belarus76.4
66UAE76.6
q=195.
--- The Average ---20
Pos.
Avg Rank20
67China76.9
68Montenegro77.3
69Georgia77.4
70Turkey78.1
71Sri Lanka78.3
72S. Africa78.3
73Trinidad & Tobago78.4
74Panama78.4
75Ecuador78.6
76Thailand79.4
77Seychelles79.5
78Qatar79.8
79Vietnam79.9
80Russia80.2
81Jordan81.1
82Philippines81.3
83Jamaica83.1
84Bhutan83.7
85Uzbekistan83.8
86Bolivia83.9
87Kuwait84.0
88Kyrgyzstan84.2
89Morocco84.3
90Colombia84.5
91Kazakhstan85.6
92Dominican Rep.86.7
93Guatemala87.2
94Azerbaijan87.5
95India87.8
96Saudi Arabia88.2
97El Salvador88.3
98Fiji88.7
99Oman89.1
100Bahamas89.3
101Bahrain89.8
102Nicaragua89.9
103Tajikistan90.3
104Ghana90.7
105Lebanon91.1
106Paraguay91.4
107St Lucia91.9
108Andorra92.3
109Egypt92.5
110Belize93.5
111Antigua & Barbuda93.5
112Nepal93.7
113Indonesia94.3
114Senegal94.6
115Dominica94.7
116St Vincent & Grenadines95.0
117Grenada95.8
118Kenya96.0
119Brunei96.0
120St Kitts & Nevis96.1
121Guyana96.3
122Algeria96.6
123Cape Verde97.1
124Suriname97.2
125Turkmenistan97.9
126Iran99.1
127Honduras99.3
128Burkina Faso99.6
129Uganda100.0
130Botswana100.6
131Bangladesh101.2
132Venezuela101.4
q=195.
--- The Challenged ---20
Pos.
Avg Rank20
133Zambia101.4
134Namibia101.4
135Rwanda102.1
136Samoa102.7
137Vanuatu103.5
138Lesotho104.3
139Libya105.6
140Tanzania105.7
141Timor-Leste (E. Timor)107.5
142Malawi108.5
143Laos108.5
144Togo108.8
145Cambodia109.5
146Tonga110.8
147Guinea110.8
148Sao Tome & Principe110.8
149Gabon110.9
150San Marino111.0
151Pakistan111.2
152Ethiopia111.2
153Gambia111.4
154Nigeria111.7
155Benin111.7
156Haiti112.1
157Mali112.3
158Cameroon112.4
159Sierra Leone112.8
160Ivory Coast113.1
161Djibouti113.1
162Madagascar113.2
163Myanmar (Burma)113.2
164Mozambique115.2
165Liberia115.8
166Kiribati116.2
167Zimbabwe116.7
168N. Korea117.1
169Niger117.1
170Marshall Islands117.1
171Syria117.5
172Swaziland117.6
173Comoros120.2
174Mauritania120.5
175Sudan120.5
176Papua New Guinea121.0
177Solomon Islands121.6
178Burundi122.6
179Nauru123.2
180Guinea-Bissau123.7
181Congo, (Brazzaville)124.1
182Yemen124.4
183Eritrea124.4
184Iraq124.5
185Congo, DR124.9
186Micronesia125.3
187Palau125.9
188Equatorial Guinea128.1
189Afghanistan128.4
190Chad129.6
191Central African Rep.131.0
192Angola131.8
193S. Sudan133.4
194Tuvalu134.0
195Somalia143.7
q=195.

6. Compare with the UN's Human Development Index

#canada #human_development #iceland #norway

UN HDI (2016)21
Pos.Lower is better
Rank21
21France21
22Belgium22
23Finland23
24Austria24
25Slovenia25
26Italy26
27Spain27
28Czechia28
29Greece29
30Brunei30
31Estonia30
32Andorra32
33Malta33
34Qatar33
35Cyprus33
36Poland36
37Lithuania37
38Chile38
39Saudi Arabia38
40Slovakia40
q=188.
UN HDI (2016)21
Pos.Lower is better
Rank21
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
4Germany4
5Denmark5
6Singapore5
7Netherlands7
8Ireland8
9Iceland9
10Canada10
11USA10
12Hong Kong12
13New Zealand13
14Sweden14
15Liechtenstein15
16UK16
17Japan17
18S. Korea18
19Israel19
20Luxembourg20
q=188.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others.

Norway has been the top of this list since ousting Canada in 2001 (except in 2007 and 2008 when Iceland made it to the top).

This data series is only here for informational reasons, meaning, it does not form part of the Social and Moral Development Index formula. This is because the UN HDI takes into account many factors (such as wealth) that are not social or moral in nature.

Links:

7. Previous Edition (2005-2007) Winners: Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Germany

#belgium #canada #denmark #finland #germany #netherlands #norway #sweden #switzerland #UK

The Best Countries
2005-2007
#1 Sweden1683 points
#2 Denmark1598 points
#3 Netherlands1572 points
#4 Finland1514 points
#5 Germany1422 points
#6 UK1407 points
#7 Canada1373 points
#8 Switzerland1326 points
#9 Norway1320 points
#10 Belgium1208 points

For old stats, view the archived page: "Which Countries Set the Best Examples? (Archived page from 2005-2007)" by Vexen Crabtree (2007).