Ireland is officially the 'best country in the world', says study

Good Country Index: Kenya and Nordic countries also ranked highly in the survey

Ireland is the best country in the world because it has made the greatest contributions to humanity and the planet, according to a new survey.

The results were revealed as part of the first ever Good Country Index, which ranks countries by combining 35 separate indicators from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international institutions.

The UK came seventh overall in the poll, but in a sign Britain's booming tech industry is reaping rewards, it topped the list for the best contribution to science and technology.

Meanwhile, war-torn Iraq, Libya and Vietnam ranked joint bottom of the survey.

While Ireland topped the list, the Nordic region was regarded to have made a collective contribution to humanity and the planet - outdoing any other part of the world.

The US came 21st in a ranking that was dragged down by poor scores on international peace and security.

Outside of western Europe and the English-speaking world, Costa Rica ranked the highest, which came in at 22nd place, while Chile took 24th place.

Kenya was named best African nation which has contributed most to the planet, at 26th place, and was the only country on the continent to break into the top 30.

Researchers said Kenya was an “inspiring example” which showed that making a meaningful contribution to society is “by no means the exclusive province of rich 'first-world' nations”.

Nevertheless, nine of the top 10 countries are in Western Europe, making it the "most good" part of the world.

Read more: Recipe: Irish Corned beef (salt beef) with green bean salad
Murdoch takes on gay 'bullies' over Saint Paddy's parade boycott
Ireland to launch inquiry into mass graves at Church-run homes

To create the list, researchers considered the size of a country's economy, and then assessed its global contributions to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.

Respected policy adviser Simon Anholt, who designed the survey, said he hopes it will change the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions, rather than cut throat self-interest.

He said: “The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.

“Using a wide range of data from the UN and other international organisations, we've given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it's a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.”

He added that the survey was not intended to “name and shame” or make moral judgements about countries, but rather to recognise the importance of contributing to the greater good in a globalised society and spark debate about what the purpose of a country is.

“Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet?” he asked.

“The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we're all in deep trouble.”

“The whole world is connected as never before, yet we still treat countries as if each one was located on its own private planet,” Mr Anholt argued.

“It's time countries started thinking much harder about the international consequences of their actions; if they don't, the global challenges like climate change, poverty, economic crises, terrorism, drugs and pandemics will only get worse," he added.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

Maths Teacher (Swindon and Wiltshire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Maths teachers for short-term cover, l...

Science Teacher 0.4

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Science Teacher 0.4 - Immediat...

Maths Teacher (Bath and North East Somerset)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Maths teachers for day to day cover, l...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week