Canada's national parks are all free to visit in 2017, so you can tick the likes of Jasper off your list
Canada's national parks are all free to visit in 2017, so you can tick the likes of Jasper off your list

The 25 most tolerant, progressive, and environmentally friendly countries in the world

Edith Hancock
Sunday 08 January 2017 17:13
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In the wake of Trump's victory in the US election and a vote for Brexit in the EU referendum, expat website Movehub has created a guide for those wanting to move to a more socially liberal country in 2017.

Movehub compared three different studies from 2016 to determine the most liberal nations — the Social Progress Index, the Environmental Performance Index and the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Gender Gap report.

The Social Progress Index examines dozens of categories like religious and LGBT tolerance, affordable housing, press freedom and access to education. The WEF's Gender Gap report looks into gender parity in jobs and education, and the EPI focuses on factors like air pollution and recycling.

Movehub combined the findings to create a comprehensive report on the most socially liberal places in the world.

While Scandinavian countries dominate the top 10, the results throw up some surprises. As the ranking looks at social liberties, countries with struggling economies like Namibia are able to make it into the top 25 because they afford their people more rights than nations with a similar GDP per capita.

From Finland to the Philippines, here are the 25 most socially liberal countries on Earth.

25. Namibia — Namibia comes in 25th on our list, taking a hit on basic human needs and access to education in the Social Progress Index. However, the African nation performed well on personal rights like political freedom and freedom of speech.

The Namibian countryside, where Burger is to live upon retirement from professional rugby

24. Austria — Austria came 52nd in the WEF's Gender Gap report, but performed well compared in the Environmental Performance Index, coming in above Ireland and Luxembourg. On the other hand, the Social Progress Index noted the country was falling behind on religious and LGBT tolerance.

23. Philippines — The Phillippines is performing well on gender parity and environmental protection compared to many countries with a similar GDP per capita such as India and Honduras. It received a strong score for academic attainment in the WEF's Gender Gap report, and also has a higher tolerance of homosexuality than its peers according to the Social Progress Index.

22. Netherlands — The Netherlands performed best in the Social Progress Index, where it came in eighth compared to countries with a similar GDP per capita like Denmark, Finland and the UK.

(Shutterstock

21. United States of America — The USA just misses out on the top 20, falling 10 places behind its neighbour to the north, Canada. It fell far behind on the Gender Gap report at 45th, but performed well on access to advanced education in the Social Progress Index.

20. Spain — Spain's gender parity is poor compared to many countries on our list, finishing in 29th in the WEF's Gender Gap report, but its lack of air pollution and prime position in the Environmental Performance Report (sixth) means it makes it into the top 20.

19. Lithuania — Four Eastern European nations made the list including Lithuania, which came eighth in the Environmental Performance Index. Though it has a weaker GDP, it fared well on personal rights in the Social Progress Index compared to similar countries like Croatia, Hungary and Greece.

18. Belgium — Belgium came fourth in the Gender Gap report just above Lithuania, and has more affordable housing than many countries with a similar GDP per capita according to the Social Index report.

17. Estonia — Estonia is yet another Eastern European country putting nations with stronger economies to shame in this ranking. It scored highly on personal rights in the Social Progress Index, came 22nd ahead of Belgium in the Gender Gap report, and beat France to be eighth in the Environmental Performance Index.

16. France — France performed best for its natural environment, coming in 10th place in the Environmental Performance Index, but fell behind to 18th in the Social Progress Index.

15. Australia — Australia had one of the lowest scores in the Gender Gap report, coming in 45th, but was in the top four in the Social Progress Index for its access to higher education and clean water.

Picture:

14. Latvia — Latvia performed best in the Gender Gap report, where it came 18th behind France, and has a relatively high access to information compared to its peers, according to the Social Progress Index.

13. Germany — Germany didn't fare so well in the Social Progress Report compared to similar nations, and dropped to 30th in 2016's Environmental Performance Index, meaning it missed out on a top 10 spot in Movehub's ranking. It performed best in the Gender Gap report, finishing in 13th.

12. Portugal — Its economy may be struggling, but Portugal performed relatively well on environmental quality, access to education and tolerance compared to countries with a similar GDP per capita

11. Canada — Many Americans are moving to Canada following Trump's victory in the US election, and its not hard to see why. It performed best in the Social Progress Index, coming in second place last year, and came in a respectable 25th place in the Environmental Performance Index.

Canada's national parks are all free to visit in 2017, so you can tick the likes of Jasper off your list

10. United Kingdom — Despite Brexit, overall the UK performed well, coming in at number 10. This is largely thanks to its rankings in personal rights, safety, tolerance and inclusion.

9. Ireland — The UK's neighbour to the west makes it into Movehub's top 10, and like Canada, performed well in terms of access to higher education.

8. Denmark — One of the friendliest countries in the world, Denmark is also in the top 10 in the Social Progress Index, and the World Economic Forum's competitive countries ranking. It scored well on education, and was one of the first to include computer science into its primary school curriculum.

7. Switzerland — Switzerland typically performs well in rankings such as the 2016 Prosperity Index, and comes in seventh place here for a strong performance in the Social Progress Index, where it came fifth.

6. Slovenia — Slovenia has a small population of a little over two million, but it's a powerhouse when it comes to environmental standards and free press. However, it doesn't fare so well when it comes to equality. In 2015 the country voted to reject legalising same-sex marriages.

5. New Zealand — Known for its breathtaking greenery and heavily protected ecosystem, New Zealand comes fifth place.

New Zealand

4. Norway — Four Scandinavian countries topped the list, including Norway, which scored extremely highly in education, health and press freedom in the 2016 Social Progress report.

3. Sweden — Last September, the Swedish government achieved a gender equality target set in 1988, and now, 50% of people on the boards of government agencies are women. Sweden was named the fourth most gender-equal country in the world by the 2016 World Economic Forum, putting it in third place in Movehub's ranking.

2. Finland — Finland may not call itself a Scandinavian nation, but it certainly keeps up with its northern European neighbours in second place. It topped the 2016 Social Progress Index, scoring highly on health and safety.

1. Iceland — Iceland topped the list to be crowned the most liberal nation on earth. It has a small population of just over 330,000 people, but it’s the closest to achieving gender equality with the smallest gender pay gap in the world. It is also one of the most eco-friendly, and approximately 85% of its energy comes from renewable sources.

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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