The Human Truth Foundation

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

By Vexen Crabtree 2018


Comments:
FB, LJ

#human_development #politics

--- The Best ---
Pos.Higher is better
Points
1Denmark84.2
2Sweden83.7
3Finland83.5
4Norway82.7
5Netherlands82.6
6Belgium82.2
7Switzerland82.0
8Germany81.7
9Ireland80.5
10UK80.5
q=198.
--- The Worst ---
Pos.Lower is worse
Points
198Angola30.7
197Yemen30.8
196Chad31.3
195Iraq32.2
194Congo, DR32.5
193Somalia32.9
192Central African Rep.34.2
191Afghanistan34.2
190Equatorial Guinea34.3
189Marshall Islands35.4
q=198.

Which countries set the best examples to the rest of the world? Which ones would we do best to copy, to emulate and to admire for their foresight, hard work and long-term conscience? Which countries would have humanity survive gleaming into a clean, happy, bright future?

And who are tardy on humanitarian issues, science or development? Which nations and cultures cling to barbarian ethics on gender and sexual equality? Who is holding us back?

The Social and Moral Development Index is a compilation of relevant statistics on a wide range of issues which are put into a database-driven formula which calculates points per country. The country's overall score is an average of all the datasets that a country appears in. So, countries don't get penalized for lack of data about them.

The result is a shortlist of countries that beat all the others. Be the best!


1. The Criteria

The Criteria:  (Year)Winners
1.Corruption (2012-2016)2012-6Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden
2.Creativity and Culture2017Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia, Switzerland
3.Global Peace Index2012Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada
4.Happiness2018Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland
5.Intellectual Endeavours2017Ukraine, Czechia, Hungary, Denmark
6.Maths, Science & Reading2015Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau
7.Open Trading, Aid and Development2017Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands
8.Peacekeeping and Security2017Samoa, S. Africa, Tunisia, Egypt
9.Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
2013-6Myanmar (Burma), USA, New Zealand, Canada
10.Refugees and UN Treaties2017Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden
The Criteria: Health(Year)Winners
11.Adolescent Birth Rate2015Korea, N., Korea, S., Switzerland, Hong Kong
12.Alcohol Consumption20104-country draw
13.Fertility Rate2013Korea, N., Brunei, St Vincent & Grenadines, France
14.Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance2017Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, UK
15.Infant Immunizations 2011-20152011-5China, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Niue
16.Life Expectancy2015Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Singapore
17.Smoking Rates2014Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Uganda
The Criteria: Human Rights & Equality(Year)Winners
18.Anti-Semite Opinions2014Laos, Philippines, Sweden, Netherlands
19.Gender Inequality2015Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden
20.LGBT Equality2017Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil
21.Nominal Commitment to HR2009Argentina, +12-country draw
22.Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom2014Hong Kong, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland
23.Press Freedom2013Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg
24.Slavery2018Japan, Canada, +3-country draw
25.Year Women Can Vote1893+New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Norway
The Criteria: Modernity(Year)Winners
26.Freedom On The Internet2012Estonia, USA, Germany, Australia
27.Internet Users2016Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Bermuda
28.IPv6 Uptake2017Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, USA
29.IT Security2010-2Belize, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong
30.Religiosity2009Estonia, Sweden, +3-country draw
31.Research and Development2016Korea, S., Israel, Japan, Finland
The Criteria: The Natural Environment(Year)Winners
32.Energy to GDP Efficiency2014Informational only
33.Environmental Performance2018Switzerland, France, Denmark, Malta
34.Forest Area Change 1990-20151990-2015Iceland, Bahrain, Uruguay, Kuwait

1.1. The Criteria

1.1.1. Corruption Perception Index

#corruption #democracy #denmark #finland #new_zealand #norway #politics #sweden

Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
4Sweden88.2
5Norway86.0
6Switzerland85.8
7Singapore85.2
8Netherlands83.4
9Canada82.2
10Luxembourg81.6
q=176.

Corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain2. 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, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

"Corruption - The Abuse of Power by Politicians" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)

See: "Corruption - The Abuse of Power by Politicians" by Vexen Crabtree (2017) (includes full list of results).

1.1.2. Creativity and Culture (GCI)

Creativity and Culture (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
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)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
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).

1.1.3. Global Peace Index

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

Global Peace Index (2012)4
Pos.Lower is better4
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)4
Pos.Higher is worse4
157Somalia3.39
156Afghanistan3.25
155Sudan3.19
154Iraq3.19
153Congo, DR3.07
152Russia2.94
151Korea, N.2.93
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."

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)5

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.

1.1.4. Happiness

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

Happiness (2018)6
Pos.Higher is better6
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
4Iceland7.5
5Switzerland7.5
6Netherlands7.4
7Canada7.3
8New Zealand7.3
9Sweden7.3
10Australia7.3
q=156.
Happiness (2018)6
Pos.Lower is worse6
156Burundi2.9
155Central African Rep.3.1
154S. Sudan3.3
153Tanzania3.3
152Yemen3.4
151Rwanda3.4
150Syria3.5
149Liberia3.5
148Haiti3.6
147Malawi3.6
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'7.

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).

Full results:

1.1.5. Intellectual Endeavours (GCI)

Intellectual Endeavours (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
4Denmark4
5UK5
6Austria6
7Finland7
8Netherlands8
9Belgium9
10Slovenia10
11Switzerland11
12New Zealand12
13Latvia13
14Bulgaria14
15Iceland15
16Bosnia & Herzegovina16
17Sweden17
18Lithuania18
19Macedonia19
20Australia20
q=163.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
163Angola163
162Iraq162
161Bolivia161
160Indonesia160
159Afghanistan159
158Guyana158
157Equatorial Guinea157
156Tanzania156
155Paraguay155
154Zambia154
153Cambodia153
152Sierra Leone152
151Gabon151
150Libya150
149Venezuela149
148Lesotho148
147Mozambique147
146Philippines146
145Qatar145
144Congo, (Brazzaville)144
q=163.

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

  1. International students: Number of foreign students studying in the country (according to UNESCO) relative to the size of the economy.

  2. Journal exports: Exports of periodicals, scientific journals and newspapers (according to ITC) relative to the size of the economy.

  3. International publications: Number of articles published in international journals (according to SCImago) relative to the size of the economy.

  4. Nobel prizes: Accumulated Nobel prizes (up to 2014) assigned to countries based on laureates' country of birth as well as country (countries) of institutional affiliation at the time of the award, relative to the size of the economy.

  5. Patents: Number of International Patent Cooperation Treaty applications (according to WIPO) relative to the size of the economy.

1.1.6. Education (Maths, Science, Reading)

#education #english #science

Maths, Science & Reading (2015)8
Pos.Higher is better
Score8
1Singapore1655
2Hong Kong1598
3Japan1586
4Macau1582
5Estonia1573
6Taiwan1571
7Canada1571
8Finland1568
9Korea, S.1557
10China1543
q=70.
Maths, Science & Reading (2015)8
Pos.Lower is worse
Score8
70Dominican Rep.1018
69Algeria1086
68Kosovo1087
67Macedonia1107
66Tunisia1114
65Lebanon1129
64Peru1182
63Brazil1185
62Indonesia1186
61Jordan1197
q=70.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA - part of the OECD) tests 15-year-old student's capabilities every 3 years. It is hard to imagine a more important and long-lasting improvement for a populace than a good education, be this government-led, parent-led or community-led.

1.1.7. Open Trading, Aid and Development (GCI)

Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
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)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
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.

1.1.8. Peacekeeping and Security (GCI)

Peacekeeping and Security (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
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)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
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).

1.1.9. Charitability

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

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
9
Pos.Lower is better9
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.
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.

See: "Charity Across the World" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

1.1.10. Refugees and UN Treaties (GCI)

Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
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)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
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.

1.2. The Criteria: Health

#health

1.2.10. Adolescent Birth Rate

#birth_control #health #parenting #population #sexuality

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)10
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100010
1Korea, N.0.5
2Korea, S.1.6
3Switzerland2.9
4Hong Kong3.2
5Slovenia3.8
6Singapore3.8
7Netherlands4.0
8Denmark4.0
9Japan4.1
10Cyprus5.0
11Sweden5.7
12Norway5.9
13Luxembourg5.9
14Italy6.0
15Iceland6.1
16Libya6.2
17Finland6.5
18Germany6.7
19Maldives6.7
20Tunisia6.8
q=185.
Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)10
Pos.Higher is worse
Per 100010
185Niger202.4
184Mali174.6
183Angola164.3
182Guinea140.6
181Mozambique139.7
180Malawi136.2
179Ivory Coast135.5
178Chad133.5
177Congo, DR122.6
176Tanzania118.6
175Sierra Leone118.2
174Congo, (Brazzaville)117.7
173Madagascar116.2
172Gambia113.0
171Uganda111.9
170Nigeria110.6
169Zimbabwe109.7
168Liberia108.8
167Equatorial Guinea108.7
166Burkina Faso108.5
q=185.

In a world with over 7.5 billion people on it (almost doubling in my generation alone), quality is more important than quantity. Education and wisdom take time to develop, and teenage pregnancies are recognized by most governments as a cause of deprivation and a health concern. The statistics given here from the "Human Development Report" by United Nations (2017)11 show the birth rate in women aged 15-19. Unfortunately, although children of a younger age also go through pregnancy, statistics are not widely available.

1.2.11. Alcohol Consumption (2010) 4-country draw

#alcohol #health #sociology

Alcohol Consumption (2010)12
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita12
1Libya0.1
2Pakistan0.1
3Kuwait0.1
4Mauritania0.1
5Comoros0.2
6Saudi Arabia0.2
7Bangladesh0.2
8Yemen0.3
9Niger0.3
10Egypt0.4
11Iraq0.5
12Somalia0.5
13Senegal0.6
14Timor-Leste (E. Timor)0.6
15Indonesia0.6
16Guinea0.7
17Afghanistan0.7
18Jordan0.7
19Myanmar (Burma)0.7
20Bhutan0.7
q=191.
Alcohol Consumption (2010)12
Pos.Higher is worse
Per Capita12
171Ireland11.9
170Luxembourg11.9
169Germany11.8
168UK11.6
167Slovenia11.6
166Denmark11.4
165Bulgaria11.4
164Spain11.2
163S. Africa11.0
162Belgium11.0
161Gabon10.9
160New Zealand10.9
159Namibia10.8
158Switzerland10.7
157St Lucia10.4
156Estonia10.3
155Kazakhstan10.3
154Greece10.3
153Austria10.3
152Canada10.2
q=191.

There is nothing wrong with drinking modest and sensible amounts of alcohol but fitness, physical health, mental health and long-term health all suffer as a result of medium- or heavy- drinking13 and the health risks to the baby when pregnant mothers drink14 are well-known. Aside from the effects on the individual, alcohol misuse impacts on entire economies15 via increased health service costs, policing costs and lost days' work. Worldwide, alcohol misuse is "among the top five risk factors for disease, disability and death" and is a "cause of more than 200 disease and injury conditions in individuals, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers and injuries"16. "In 2012... 5.9% of all global deaths, were attributable to alcohol consumption"17. Deaths from chronic alcohol misuse have been rising for decades, and so has violence, abuse, vandalism and crime all associated with alcohol over-use. The aggression and crime associated with alcohol in some Western countries infringes on the human rights of those who want nothing to do with such behaviour. Many of the social effects of alcohol are psychological and cultural; i.e., people don't have to behave criminally or destructively whilst drunk - it is a culturally learned behaviour. Experiments have shown that behaviour can be controlled: Those who do not wish to behave badly whilst drunk, will not do so.

"Alcohol: The Social & Medical Effects and How to Combat Misuse" by Vexen Crabtree (2015)

1.2.12. Fertility Rates

#birth_control #demographics #health #overpopulation #population

Highest Fertility Rates (2013)18
Pos.2.0 is best18
180Niger6.96
179Somalia6.30
178Zambia6.30
177Mali6.16
176Afghanistan6.03
175Timor-Leste (E. Timor)5.99
174Malawi5.98
173Uganda5.95
172Chad5.79
171Burkina Faso5.77
170Congo, DR5.54
169Tanzania5.51
168Nigeria5.45
167Rwanda5.30
166Angola5.19
165Benin5.12
164Liberia5.08
163Guinea5.08
162Equatorial Guinea5.02
161Yemen4.98
q=180.

The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

In order to calculate the points for each country, I had to pick an optimum fertility rate, and then detract points as countries strayed from it. I have opted for the round figure of 2.0, slightly lower than the replacement rate, because the population right now is too high, therefore, the best fertility rate is probably one that will see a gradual decline in population numbers, at least for a few hundred years. The decline cannot be fast however, as this tends to create severe economic problems. So, any country that is either below 2.0 or above 2.0 loses points.

1.2.13. Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (GCI)

Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)3
Pos.Lower is better
Rank3
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
4UK4
5Norway5
6Switzerland6
7Germany7
8Canada8
9Netherlands9
10USA10
11Luxembourg11
12Finland12
13Australia13
14UAE14
15Saudi Arabia15
16Belgium16
17New Zealand17
18Jordan18
19Korea, S.19
20Kuwait20
q=163.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)3
Pos.Higher is worse
Rank3
163Angola163
162St Vincent & Grenadines162
161Mauritania161
160Senegal160
159Algeria159
158Belize158
157Papua New Guinea157
156Libya156
155Bahamas155
154Cape Verde154
153Mozambique153
152Trinidad & Tobago152
151St Lucia151
150Nigeria150
149Tonga149
148Togo148
147Jamaica147
146Samoa146
145Botswana145
144Marshall Islands144
q=163.

The Good Country Index's criteria on Contributions to Health and Wellbeing include the following:

  1. Food aid: Food aid funding (according to WFP) relative to the size of the economy.

  2. Pharmaceutical exports: Exports of pharmaceuticals (according to ITC) relative to the size of the economy.

  3. Voluntary excess donations to the WHO: Voluntary excess contributions to World Health Organisation relative to the size of the economy.

  4. Humanitarian aid donations: Humanitarian aid contributions (according to UNOCHA) relative to the size of the economy.

  5. International Health Regulations Compliance: International Health Regulations Compliance (according to WHO).

1.2.14. Infant Vaccinations

#china #czechia #disease #health #hungary #ireland #italy #mongolia #netherlands #niue #UK #uzbekistan #vaccines

Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)19
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %19
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
4Niue98.8
5Mongolia98.7
6Czechia98.7
7Seychelles98.6
8Korea, S.98.6
9Sri Lanka98.4
10St Lucia98.2
11Bahrain98.2
12Iran98.1
13Finland98.1
14Saudi Arabia98.0
15Luxembourg98.0
16Oman98.0
17Antigua & Barbuda98.0
18Cuba97.9
19Belgium97.8
20Thailand97.8
q=194.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)19
Pos.Lower is worse
Avg %19
194Equatorial Guinea36.8
193S. Sudan45.7
192Somalia46.0
191Central African Rep.49.4
190Nigeria50.0
189Chad52.5
188Ukraine55.2
187Syria62.4
186Guinea63.3
185Vanuatu65.5
184Haiti65.7
183Papua New Guinea66.3
182Yemen67.4
181Samoa68.1
180Niger69.7
179Afghanistan70.6
178Iraq70.7
177Madagascar71.9
176Angola71.9
175S. Africa72.5
q=194.

Immunization to many diseases can be obtained through vaccination. By comparing international statistics on seven easily preventable diseases, it is easily seen that good policies on national health is not simply the preserve of the rich: the best countries at immunizing infants are Hungary, China, Uzbekistan, Niue, Mongolia and the Czech Republic20. The seven diseases are: diphtheria, haemophilus influenza type b (hib), hepatitis B, measles pertussis (whooping cough), polio, tetanus (and neonatal tetanus) and tuberculosis (TB), and all of them are serious and can result in suffering, lasting harm, permanent disabilities, and often death, if not treated properly. Where mass immunizations are effected, incidences of these diseases can fall by up to 90%, and in many cases immunizations have completely eradicated national occurences of certain diseases.

Unfortunately, the Western world is suffering from an era of mass-media-led misinformation when it comes to some vaccines and immunizations21. UK sensationalist newspapers in the 1990s made claims about associations between some vaccines and autism (with no evidence to support it) leading to a rapid drop in acceptance of vaccines. Measles and mumps rates shot up by thousands of times. Epidemics between 2005 and 201322 saw total numbers approaching 10,000 cases, starting off with "prolonged outbreaks in travelling and religious communities, where vaccine uptake has been historically low"23. Similar trends in the Netherlands in 1999 meant 2,300 cases emerged in a specific community that is "philosophically opposed to vaccination", resulting in deaths24. Ireland saw a surge to 1500 cases in the year 2000 including three deaths25, and Italy suffered three deaths too24. For developed countries to see these preventable diseases' numbers rise in this way is embarrassing, and indicates a loss of cultural wisdom.

"Immunizations: International Statistics on Vaccines and the Autism Scare" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)

For more detail on immunizations and the statistics used for this data, see the full page: "Immunizations: International Statistics on Vaccines and the Autism Scare" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

1.2.15. Life Expectancy

#china #health #hong_kong #japan #life_expectancy #longevity

Life Expectancy (2015)26
Pos.Higher is better
Years26
21Portugal81.18
22Germany81.09
23Greece81.07
24Ireland81.05
25Finland81.01
26Belgium80.98
27UK80.85
28Malta80.73
29Slovenia80.58
30Denmark80.41
31Cyprus80.33
32Liechtenstein80.16
33Costa Rica79.61
34Cuba79.57
35Lebanon79.54
36USA79.22
37Brunei79.02
38Czechia78.78
39Qatar78.32
40Albania77.97
q=190.
Life Expectancy (2015)26
Pos.Higher is better
Years26
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
4Singapore83.21
5Switzerland83.13
6Spain82.77
7Iceland82.72
8Israel82.56
9Australia82.54
10France82.36
11Sweden82.35
12Canada82.22
13Korea, S.82.13
14New Zealand82.03
15Chile81.96
16Luxembourg81.88
17Norway81.71
18Netherlands81.71
19Austria81.58
20Andorra81.46
q=190.

The United Nations Human Development Report contains data on the Life Expectancy at Birth. Japan topped this table for very many years; for example in 1989 its average life expectancy was 78.6 which was higher than any other country27. Now, Hong Kong in the south of China has reached a new pinnacle. Life expectancy reflects overall cultural health, including diet, the health services systems, attitudes to exercise and well-being, and also family structure and caring. Life expectancy stats are sometimes skewed by taking into account immigration, so that much of the time stats are compiled of natural-born inhabitants only.

Links:

1.2.16. Smoking Rates

#health #smoking

Smoking Rates (2014)28
Pos.Lower is better28
1Guinea 15
2Solomon Islands 26
3Kiribati 28
4Uganda 41
5Rwanda 53
6Samoa 54
7Congo, DR 74
8Ethiopia 76
9Vanuatu 76
10Guyana 77
11Suriname 79
12Malawi 80
13Tonga 81
14Mozambique 82
15Nepal 83
16Afghanistan 84
17Lesotho 88
18Trinidad & Tobago 97
19Burundi 98
20Tanzania 101
q=182.
Smoking Rates (2014)28
Pos.Higher is worse28
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
179Macedonia2 732
178Russia2 690
177Slovenia2 637
176Belgium2 353
175Luxembourg2 284
174China2 250
173Bosnia & Herzegovina2 233
172Czechia2 194
171Kazakhstan2 157
170Azerbaijan2 114
169Greece2 086
168Korea, S.2 073
167Austria1 988
166Jordan1 855
165Ukraine1 854
164Estonia1 775
163Hungary1 759
q=182.

See: The Side Effects of Smoking. Which Countries Smoke Most?.

1.3. The Criteria: Human Rights & Equality

1.3.16. Antisemitism

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)29
Pos.Lower is better
%29
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
4Netherlands5
5Vietnam6
6UK8
7Denmark9
8USA9
9Tanzania12
10Thailand13
11Czechia13
12Canada14
13New Zealand14
14Australia14
15Norway15
16Ghana15
17Finland15
18Brazil16
19Singapore16
20Nigeria16
q=101.
Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews30,31,32,33. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East34, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews35,36. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"37. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males38.

See: "Anti-Semitism" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

1.3.17. Gay Rights and Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

Most Equal (2017)39
Pos.Higher is better
Score39
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
4Brazil81
5Spain79
6France78
7S. Africa78
8Uruguay77
9Norway72
10Denmark72
11Iceland72
12UK72
13Mexico70
14Luxembourg70
15Argentina69
q=196.
Most Discriminatory (2017)39
Pos.Lower is worse
Score39
196Syria-84
195Somalia-79
194Saudi Arabia-72
193Sudan-67
192Qatar-54
191Solomon Islands-44
190Morocco-42
189Libya-42
188Tunisia-39
187Senegal-39
186Cameroon-39
185Guinea-39
184Kuwait-37
183Algeria-37
182UAE-34
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence40. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries40. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

Links:

1.3.18. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights

#bhutan #costa_rica #france #human_rights #kiribati #mexico

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)41
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties41
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
4Ecuador23
5Germany23
6Mexico23
7Peru23
8Spain23
9Slovenia23
10Paraguay23
11Serbia23
12Sweden23
13Uruguay23
14Italy22
15Denmark22
16Croatia22
17Belgium22
18Austria22
19Brazil21
20Montenegro21
q=194.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)41
Pos.Lower is worse
Treaties41
194Kiribati3
193Bhutan3
192Malaysia4
191Palau4
190Myanmar (Burma)4
189Marshall Islands4
188Nauru5
187Singapore5
186Micronesia5
185Tuvalu5
184Pakistan6
183Tonga6
182Brunei6
181St Lucia6
180UAE7
179Grenada7
178Sao Tome & Principe7
177Korea, N.7
176Indonesia7
175Eritrea8
q=194.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

This ranking is comprised of the 8 core United Nations International Human Rights Treaties and their Optional Protocols, individual petition mechanisms under ICCPR, ICERD, CAT, CEDAW and CRPD, the Genocide Convention, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its two Additional Protocols, the Refugee Convention and its Protocol and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Argentina is, at this time, the only state that has ratified all of the treaties and accepted all the individual petition mechanisms. The Latin American and the Caribbean Group (GRULAC) has the highest number of ratifications, with 8 out of the 12 states ranking 1st and 2nd coming from the region. Western European and Others Group make up the other four states ranked second. The bottom end of the chart is made up predominantly of Asian states or small island states. Bhutan and Kiribati have the lowest ranking at just three ratifications each. Both have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Two of the five permanent members of the Security Council - France and the United Kingdom - are in the top five and two current non-permanent members - Costa Rica and Mexico - are joint second. Of the permanent members, the "The United States of America" by Vexen Crabtree (2013) scores the lowest with a ranking of 17. The Top 5 of the United Nations Development Index of 2008 are also in the top five of the Ratifications by Country list.

NCHR Report (2009)

1.3.19. Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)42
Pos.Lower is better
Rank42
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
4Ireland4
5Denmark5
6UK6
7Canada6
8Australia6
9Finland9
10Netherlands10
11Luxembourg11
12Austria11
13Norway13
14Germany13
15Sweden15
16Malta16
17Belgium17
18Czechia18
19Portugal19
20Lithuania20
q=159.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)43

1.3.20. Slavery

#afghanistan #human_rights #india #slavery #spain

Slavery (2018)44
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims44
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
4Australia0.06
5New Zealand0.06
6Chile0.08
7Mauritius0.10
8Uruguay0.10
9Costa Rica0.13
10USA0.13
11Argentina0.13
12Hong Kong0.14
13Kuwait0.15
14Luxembourg0.15
15Qatar0.15
16Denmark0.16
17Paraguay0.16
18Sweden0.16
19Ireland0.17
20Lebanon0.17
q=167.
Slavery (2018)44
Pos.Higher is worse
% Victims44
167Korea, N.10.46
166Eritrea9.30
165Burundi4.00
164Central African Rep.2.23
163Afghanistan2.22
162Mauritania2.14
161S. Sudan2.05
160Pakistan1.68
159Cambodia1.68
158Iran1.62
157Somalia1.55
156Congo, DR1.37
155Mongolia1.23
154Sudan1.20
153Chad1.20
152Rwanda1.16
151Turkmenistan1.12
150Myanmar (Burma)1.10
149Brunei1.09
148Belarus1.09
q=167.

In the modern world there have been new, disguised forms of slavery to avoid the international abhorrence [of traditional slavery]: debt bondage in India, chattel slavery in North Africa, sham adoption of children for labour purposes in the Middle East, marriage as a form of enslavement in Islamic countries and new forms of slavery in areas like Afghanistan.

"A History of Sin" by Oliver Thomson (1993)45

The Global Slavery Index was published for the first time in 2013 amidst ongoing concern that child marriage, human trafficking, exclusive economic bondage to landlords, forced unpaid work and other abusive practices constitute forms of 'modern slavery'. Its publishers, the Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery. They didn't include the types of abuse orchestrated by the companies that Naomi Klein highlighted - it's not clear that it is slavery, even though it is very inhumane.

Modern slavery is a destructive, personal crime and an abuse of human rights. It is a widespread and profitable criminal industry but despite this it is largely invisible, in part because it disproportionately affects the most marginalised. [There are] two major external drivers - highly repressive regimes, in which populations are put to work to prop up the government, and conflict situations which result in the breakdown of rule of law, social structures, and existing systems of protection.

"Global Slavery Index" by Walk Free Foundation (2018)46

Combatting modern slavery is complex, as the globalized world of indirect economic effects means that it is often difficult (especially for consumers) to detect which products involve slavery and forced labour, and therefore, many consumers are directly contributing to the profits of human rights abusers.

I did consider researching when each country abolished slavery and giving each a point per year, therefore rewarding those countries that were first to abolish it. Then, I would give this historical ranking a 50% weight, and give the Global Slavery Index a 50% weight. However, it is clear that countries that were involved in slavery were the first to come to abolish it (e.g. Spain in 1542), and therefore, such a historical index would be unfair.

1.3.21. Women Stand for Election & Vote

#new_zealand #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Pos.Lower is better
Year
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
4Norway1913
5Denmark1915
6Iceland1915
7Russia1917
8Latvia1918
9Estonia1918
10Kyrgyzstan1918
11Austria1919
12Slovakia1919
13Belarus1919
14Germany1919
15Netherlands1919
16Ukraine1919
17Luxembourg1919
18Czechia1919
19Poland1919
20Canada1920
q=189.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world.

Although literature talks of countries granting the "women's right to vote", in a democracy where all people have a voice in government it is more the case that women are "no longer denied their right to vote" rather than being "granted" a right that they already had, but, were denied.

The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, various other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

1.3.22. Gender Inequality

#gender #misogyny #women

Most Discriminatory (2015)10
Pos.Higher is worse10
159Yemen0.77
158Niger0.70
157Chad0.69
156Mali0.69
155Ivory Coast0.67
154Afghanistan0.67
153Congo, DR0.66
152Tonga0.66
151Sierra Leone0.65
150Liberia0.65
149Central African Rep.0.65
148Gambia0.64
147Mauritania0.63
146Burkina Faso0.62
145Malawi0.61
144Benin0.61
143Papua New Guinea0.59
142Haiti0.59
141Congo, (Brazzaville)0.59
140Sudan0.57
q=159.
Most Equal (2015)10
Pos.Lower is better10
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
4Sweden0.05
5Iceland0.05
6Norway0.05
7Slovenia0.05
8Finland0.06
9Germany0.07
10Korea, S.0.07
11Singapore0.07
12Belgium0.07
13Luxembourg0.07
14Austria0.08
15Spain0.08
16Italy0.08
17Portugal0.09
18Canada0.10
19France0.10
20Israel0.10
q=159.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. These are not factored into the HDI, therefore, countries get a separate range of points on my Social and Moral Development Index.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

See:

1.3.23. Press Freedom Index

#democracy #eritrea #finland #freedom #korea,_north #mass_media #netherlands #norway #politics #turkmenistan #UK

Press Freedom (2013)48
Pos.Lower is better48
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
4Luxembourg668
5Andorra682
6Denmark708
7Liechtenstein735
8New Zealand838
9Iceland849
10Sweden923
11Estonia926
12Austria940
13Jamaica988
14Switzerland994
15Ireland1006
16Czechia1017
17Germany1024
18Costa Rica1208
19Namibia1250
20Canada1269
q=178.
Press Freedom (2013)48
Pos.Higher is worse48
178Eritrea8483
177Korea, N.8390
176Turkmenistan7914
175Syria7853
174Somalia7359
173Iran7340
172China7307
171Vietnam7178
170Cuba7164
169Sudan7006
168Yemen6922
167Laos6799
166Djibouti6740
165Equatorial Guinea6720
164Bahrain6275
163Uzbekistan6039
162Saudi Arabia5688
161Sri Lanka5659
160Rwanda5546
159Kazakhstan5508
q=178.

Scores are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted."

"The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. For the third year running, Finland has distinguished itself as the country that most respects media freedom. It is followed by the Netherlands and Norway. [At the bottom are the] same three as last year - Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea".

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

Links:

1.4. The Criteria: Modernity

1.4.24. Freedom On The Net

#bahrain #ethiopia #pakistan #politics #the_internet

Freedom On The Internet (2012)49
Pos.Lower is better49
1Estonia10
2USA12
3Germany15
4Australia18
5Hungary19
6Philippines23
7Italy23
8UK25
9S. Africa26
10Argentina26
11Ukraine27
12Brazil27
13Kenya29
14Georgia30
15Nigeria33
16Korea, S.34
17Uganda34
18Kyrgyzstan35
19Mexico37
20India39
q=47.
Freedom On The Internet (2012)49
Pos.Higher is worse49
47Iran90
46Cuba86
45China85
44Syria83
43Uzbekistan77
42Ethiopia75
41Myanmar (Burma)75
40Vietnam73
39Bahrain71
38Saudi Arabia71
37Belarus69
36Pakistan63
35Thailand61
34Egypt59
33Kazakhstan58
32Sri Lanka55
31Zimbabwe54
30Russia52
29Rwanda51
28Azerbaijan50
q=47.

This is an important category as internet access allows access to varied sources of information outside of state influence, and access to the information age is a massive boost to personal liberty and personal potential. Scores are derived from these categories:

  1. "Obstacles to Access: assesses infrastructural and economic barriers to access; governmental efforts to block specific applications or technologies; and legal, regulatory and ownership control over internet and mobile phone access providers."
  2. "Limits on Content: examines filtering and blocking of websites; other forms of censorship and self-censorship; manipulation of content; the diversity of online news media; and usage of digital media for social and political activism."
  3. "Violations of User Rights: measures legal protections and restrictions on online activity; surveillance; privacy; and repercussions for online activity, such as legal prosecution, imprisonment, physical attacks, or other forms of harassment."

14 countries improved their stance on allowing access to the Internet uncensored by political or ideological bias, since last year. Bahrain, Pakistan, and Ethiopia saw the biggest increases in authoritarian behaviour. In many countries, imprisonment and violence against journalists and bloggers increased, and Pakistan's infamous blasphemy laws were increasingly enforced for online behaviour, reducing its ranking somewhat. "Only 4 of the 20 countries that recently experienced declines are considered electoral democracies. [...]"

"Regimes are covertly hiring armies of pro-government bloggers to tout the official point of view, discredit opposition activists, or disseminate false information about unfolding events [and] over the last year, it has been adopted in more than a quarter of the countries examined. The Bahraini authorities, for example, have employed hundreds of "trolls" whose responsibility is to scout popular domestic and international websites, and while posing as ordinary users, attack the credibility of those who post information that reflects poorly on the government."

Also see:

1.4.25. Internet Users in Population

#internet #the_internet

Internet Users (2016)50
Pos.Higher is better50
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
4Bermuda97%
5Andorra97%
6Denmark96%
7Liechtenstein96%
8Luxembourg95%
9Netherlands94%
10Sweden93%
11Monaco93%
12UK93%
13Finland93%
14Qatar92%
15UAE92%
16Bahrain92%
17Estonia91%
18Japan91%
19New Zealand89%
20USA89%
q=201.
Internet Users (2016)50
Pos.Lower is worse50
201Eritrea1%
200Timor-Leste (E. Timor)1%
199Burundi2%
198Somalia2%
197Guinea2%
196Niger2%
195Sierra Leone2%
194Myanmar (Burma)3%
193Chad3%
192Guinea-Bissau4%
191Congo, DR4%
190Ethiopia4%
189Madagascar4%
188Central African Rep.5%
187Tanzania5%
186Benin6%
185Mozambique6%
184Malawi7%
183Afghanistan7%
182Comoros7%
q=201.

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

1.4.26. IPv6 Uptake

#india #the_internet

IPv6 Uptake (2017)51
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio51
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
4USA35.0
5Greece33.5
6Luxembourg32.4
7India26.8
8Portugal26.6
9Ireland26.1
10UK24.7
11Japan22.1
12France18.8
13Canada18.3
14Peru18.3
15Ecuador18.2
16Estonia17.6
17Malaysia16.5
18Norway14.7
19Australia14.6
20Trinidad & Tobago14.5
q=176.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)51
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio51
21Finland14.1
22Brazil13.9
23Netherlands10.5
24Czechia10.1
25New Zealand9.7
26Romania8.7
27Austria7.5
28Hungary7.4
29Guatemala6.9
30Saudi Arabia6.8
31Vietnam5.9
32Slovenia5.4
33Bolivia5.0
34Macau4.2
35Singapore4.0
36Sweden3.8
37Poland3.6
38Thailand3.3
39Denmark3.1
40Bosnia & Herzegovina3.1
q=176.

The time for preparation and transition is over: we should all be moving to IPv6. This is largely an issue for ISPs and large telecommunications companies, spurred on by government and citizen pressure. It is not good enough to ignore IPv6. Eventually when IPv4 support is removed from infrastructure, the entire network-of-networks (as well as individual networks) will run more smoothly and quicker. Don't hold up progress!

Sometimes, transition is a case of having to buy new equipment, but often the cost is tied up with having qualified administrators to make required configuration changes (and testing) on network devices. Because of this, the Social & Moral Development index only rates countries that have are at over $1,000 GDP per capita, in order to avoid punishing countries that are simply to poor and too troubled to modernize right now. Of the countries with the lowest GDP per Capita in the results, India performs very well indeed, proving to others that it can be done even where investments are spread thinly.

1.4.27. Malware and Email Spam

#it_security #russia

IT Security (2013)
Pos.Higher is worse
81USA3.68
80Russia2.42
79India2.10
78Sudan1.98
77Bangladesh1.87
76Iraq1.84
75Oman1.72
74Sri Lanka1.67
73Angola1.61
72China1.59
71Maldives1.57
70Tanzania1.50
69Rwanda1.50
68Netherlands1.47
67Germany1.46
66Afghanistan1.45
65Nepal1.45
64Ukraine1.44
63Uganda1.44
62Mongolia1.42
q=81.

This index measures to what extent countries produce spam and malware. Spam has threatened to destroy the world's email systems and has certainly cost the IT industry billions in mitigation. "Malware" is malicious software, and the index takes into account the number of servers based in country that are Botnet CnC machines (which are bad), and the numbers of servers that host malicious downloads, including some of those associated with the infamous Blackhole crimepak.

Russia's authorities have historically been quite lax toward cybercriminals.

Kaspersky Labs (2012)

The index also includes measures of host-based virus-detection from removable devices such as USB drives. This measures the danger in running IT systems in those locations, and probably reflects badly on the society and governments level of understanding of IT security in general.

Being a source of spam or malware is gauged as being four times worse than the other factors considered, especially as detection and block actions from antivirus are a good thing and only indirectly give away the fact that the IT security of the local environment is bad.

The data comes from a range of IT security companies including AVG, Kaspersky, McAfee and Sophos, covering 2010, 2011 and 2012 reports. In total, 17 reports' data were accumulated for this index, in all cases listing the worst offenders. In all this data only 83 unique countries appeared. All countries not on these lists have been given full points on account of no news being good news!

The upside to this IT Security index is that countries that are host to malware score lowly, bringing down their average scores. The downside to this negative index is that over 100 countries scored top points and many of these are not countries that have excellent IT security, but merely are countries that do not have much IT infrastructure. Hopefully a positive measure of IT security will resolve this in the future.

1.4.28. Religion Importance

#belief #christianity #estonia #europe #france #god #islam #judaism #malta #religion

Religiosity (2009)52
Pos.Lower is better
%52
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
4Japan24
5Hong Kong24
6UK27
7France30
8Vietnam30
9Russia34
10Belarus34
11Latvia39
12Luxembourg39
13Hungary39
14Albania39
15Germany40
16Switzerland41
17Uruguay41
18Lithuania42
19Canada42
20Korea, S.43
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)53
Pos.Higher is better53
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
4Czechia61
5Estonia49
6Denmark48
7France44
8Belgium43
9Netherlands42
10Germany42
11UK42
12Cuba40
13Slovenia35
14Bulgaria34
15Hungary32
16Norway31
17Korea, S.30
18Finland28
19Russia27
20Australia25
q=137.

High rates of religion are associated with pre-modernity, causing many inequalities and problems, for example male-dominated society and abuse of women, and gender inequality, poor adoption of human rights and anti-science and poor education policies. The Gallup (2009) data used here is used by the Social and Moral Index formula to grant points based on areligiosity. The data set on belief in god is only informational, as such personal beliefs are not the same thing as organised, endemic religion.

Over the last 60 years, religion in Europe has seen a strong decline. On average throughout the 27 EU countries, only half of its people believe in God54 and 25.4% directly say that they have no religion55. There is much variation from country to country. Only 16% of the populace of Estonia believe in God and the Scandinavian countries are highly atheist. But 95% believe in Malta. Two main social groups are particularly prone to belief in God; those over 55 years old and those whose education did not proceed beyond the 15-year-old stage.54. For a discussion on secularisation in general, see: "Secularisation Theory: Will Modern Society Reject Religion? What is Secularism?" by Vexen Crabtree

Despite the low rate of belief in God, many Europeans still claim to belong to theistic religions. 49.5% of the population of Europe say they are Catholic Christian, 15.7% say they're Muslim, 12.7% say they're Protestant Christian, 8.6% say they're Orthodox Christian and 0.4% say they are Jewish55. These numbers mean that at least 30% of Europeans are putting down a religion despite not believing in the very basic first principal of the religion they put down. In some places, this percent is higher. In France only 52% of Catholic believe in God and "only 18 percent define God according to the teachings of the Catholic Church"56. This is all because most people in Europe confuse religion and cultural heritage, and for many the actual beliefs of a religion don't really matter. For a discussion of this, see: "Institutionalized Religions Have Their Numbers Inflated by National Polls" by Vexen Crabtree.

Links:

1.4.29. Research & Development

#countries #denmark #finland #israel #japan #korea,_south #politics #research #science #sweden #taiwan

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1Korea, S.4.29
2Israel4.11
3Japan3.58
4Finland3.17
5Sweden3.16
6Denmark3.05
7Taiwan3.01
8Austria3.00
9Switzerland2.96
10Germany2.84
q=126.

Research and Development is a long-term boost to Human understanding: science improves our knowledge of the world, and new products such as better batteries for devices can improve our quality of lives. The world needs discoveries to help combat climate change, mitigate starvation and fight disease. The ten countries that commit most to Research and Development (as a percent of their GDP PPP) are mostly predictable; Japan, Finland, Sweden and Denmark top most developmental indices of any kind. Also in the list can be found technologically savvy South Korea and Taiwan and a few well-developed European countries. The only surprise (for some) is Israel, sitting 2nd in the list.

1.5. The Criteria: The Natural Environment

1.5.7. Environmental Performance

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

Environmental Performance (2018)57
Pos.Higher is better57
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)57
Pos.Lower is worse57
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.

1.5.8. Forest Area Change 1990-2015

#central_african_republic #china #sierra_leone #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)58
Pos.Higher is better
%58
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)58
Pos.Lower is worse
%58
184Togo-72.6
183Nigeria-59.4
182Uganda-56.4
181Mauritania-45.9
180Honduras-43.6
179Pakistan-41.7
178Niger-41.3
177Korea, N.-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)59

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"60 and the United Nations reports that between 1990 and 2015, China increased its total forested area by one third.

1.5.9. Energy Use to GDP Efficiency

#environment #the_environment

Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)61
Pos.Higher is better61
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)61
Pos.Lower is worse61
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 shows 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. Therefore, it might seem sensible to use this data to calculate points for countries in order to encourage efficient energy usage.

However, it is not that simple. 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.

2. Compare with the UN's Human Development Index

#canada #human_development #iceland #norway

UN HDI (2016)62
Pos.Lower is better
Rank62
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)62
Pos.Lower is better
Rank62
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
4Germany4
5Denmark5
6Singapore5
7Netherlands7
8Ireland8
9Iceland9
10Canada10
11USA10
12Hong Kong12
13New Zealand13
14Sweden14
15Liechtenstein15
16UK16
17Japan17
18Korea, S.18
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:

3. Table of Country Scores

For a complete list of results, see: The Social and Moral Index.

Current edition: 2018 Aug 2263
Fifth edition 2018 Mar 2464
Fourth edition 2017 Jun 2265
Third edition 2017 Mar 2266
Second edition 2013
Originally published 2005
http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html
Parent page: The Human Truth Foundation

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#afghanistan #alcohol #antisemitism #bahrain #belief #bhutan #birth_control #canada #central_african_republic #charity #china #christianity #corruption #costa_rica #countries #czechia #democracy #demographics #denmark #disease #education #english #environment #equality #equatorial_guinea #eritrea #estonia #ethiopia #europe #finland #france #freedom #gender #germany #god #haiti #happiness #health #homosexuality #hong_kong #human_development #human_rights #hungary #iceland #india #indonesia #internet #intolerance #ireland #islam #israel #it_security #italy #japan #jordan #judaism #kiribati #korea,_north #korea,_south #laos #life_expectancy #longevity #malta #mass_media #mexico #misogyny #mongolia #morals #morocco #myanmar_(burma) #netherlands #new_zealand #niue #norway #overpopulation #pakistan #parenting #peace #philippines #politics #population #religion #religious_violence #research #russia #saudi_arabia #science #sexuality #sierra_leone #slavery #smoking #sociology #somalia #spain #sri_lanka #sweden #switzerland #syria #taiwan #the_environment #the_internet #tolerance #turkey #turkmenistan #UK #united_arab_emirates #USA #uzbekistan #vaccines #vietnam #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

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The Guardian. UK newspaper. See Which are the Best and Worst Newspapers in the UK?. Respectable and generally well researched UK broadsheet newspaper.

Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Published by Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, NY, USA. Pro-science magazine published bimonthly.

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
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Charities Aid Foundation
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Footnotes

  1. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  2. Beetham (2005). Chapter 4 "Success and Setback in the New and Emergent Democraces" p85.^^
  3. The Good Country Index (2017) .^^^^
  4. ^
  5. The Guardian (2007 May 30) article "Norway rated world's most peaceful country".^
  6. Helliwell, Layard & Sachs (2018 Mar 14). Figure 2.2. Data is an average for years 2015 to 2017.^
  7. Pessi (2011). P947.^
  8. PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report (2016 Dec 06) for 2015. The tests involved approximately 540 000 students. Available on oecd.org/pisa/pisa-2015-results-in-focus.pdf (accessed 2018 Jun 04).^
  9. Charities Aid Foundation. Average ranking across years 2013-2016. Lower is better.^
  10. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  11. UN (2017) .^
  12. WHO (2014). Appendix 1. Alcohol Per Capita Consumption in liters of pure alcohol, 15+ years age population, consumed in 2010. Lower is better.^
  13. Peters (2011). Chapter "Healthy Living" p28-32.^
  14. Thorn (2003). P20-21.^
  15. WHO (2014). Chapter 1 section 1.6.^
  16. WHO (2014). Chapter 1.^
  17. WHO (2014). Chapter 3.^
  18. UN (2013). Table 14. Births per woman (2012), expressed as deviance (positive or negative) from the value of 2.0.^
  19. World Health Organisation data for 2011-2015 from 7 data series accessed 2017 May 21. Details in "Immunizations: International Statistics on Vaccines and the Autism Scare: 3. World Health Organisation Statistics" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).^
  20. "Immunizations: International Statistics on Vaccines and the Autism Scare" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)^
  21. Novella (2007 Nov/Dec). P25-31.^
  22. PHE (2017). Section 1.^
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  33. McCall (1979). P259-260.^
  34. ADL (2014) .^
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  37. Harris (2006). P114-115.^
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  39. Sources:^
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  42. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^
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  44. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^
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  46. Walk Free Foundation (2018). P2.^
  47. Giddens (1997) .^
  48. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^
  49. Freedom House publication "Freedom on the Net 2012" at www.freedomhouse.org/.../FOTN%202012%20-%20Tables%20and%20Charts%20FINAL.pdf accessed 2013 Feb 05.^
  50. internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country accessed 2017 Mar 10.^
  51. % of internet access via native IPv6 compared to IPv4. As of 2017 Jun 20, from http://www.cidr-report.org. Accessed 2017 Jun 20.^
  52. Gallup (2009) .^
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  57. Yale University Center for Environmental Law & Policy 2018 EPI.^
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  60. Reuters news agency (2014 Feb 25).^
  61. Purchasing power parity gross domestic product (PPP$ GDP) per kilogram of oil equivalent of energy use. Total primary energy supply (TPES) is made up of production + imports - exports - international marine bunkers - international aviation bunkers +/– stock changes. Data from International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Balances on-line data service, 2016 edition. Obtained via the Global Innovation Index 2017 report, table 3.3.1. Falls under section 3.3, Ecological sustainability.^
  62. UN (2017). Table 1. Lower is better.^
  63. 2018 Aug 22: Added the Global Slavery Index results and the Good Country Index categories.^
  64. 2018 Mar 24: Updated World Happiness Report and Corruption Index data.^
  65. 2017 Jun 22: June - Added IPv6 uptake and smoking rates statistics. April - Added UN HDR 2016 statistics on deforestation. And added 2016 data for Internet Users, replacing 2010 data. Mar -^
  66. 2017 Mar 22: Added UN HDR 2016 statistics, charitability statistics from the CAF and alcohol consumption from the WHO.^
  67. Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg (2009) .^

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