Source Data

Here you can find the complete list of the data we used to compile the Good Country Index.

General Explanation

Countries receive scores on each indicator as a fractional rank relative to all countries for which data is available (after most data is corrected for GDP, i.e. the economic size of the country). The actual simple ranks per category are based on the mean fractional ranks on the 5 indicators per category (subject to maximum 2 missing values per category). The overall rank is based on the average of the category ranks. In case of equal overall ranks, the country with the lowest low score on any of the 7 categories gets pushed down. 

GOOD COUNTRY INDEX 1.1 (2016)

Overall Rank

The overall rank is based on the average of the category ranks. All data is 2011 data unless otherwise indicated. The actual overall rank is based on 163 countries included in the index and the mean rank score for the 7 category ranks.

Categories and Indicators

For detailed information please refer to our Google Sheet here

Contributions to Science & Technology 

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 World Bank) relative to the size of the economy.

4. Nobel prizes: Accumulated Nobel prizes (up to 2011) 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.

Contributions to Culture

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

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

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

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

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

Contributions to International Peace and Security

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

12. 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).

13. 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).

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

15. Internet security (2014): Global Cybersecurity Index score (according to ITU 2014 first edition).

Contributions to World Order

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

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

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

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

20. UN Treaties signed: Number of UN treaties signed (up to 2011) as proxy for diplomatic action and peaceful conflict resolution.

Contributions to Planet and Climate

21. Ecological footprint: National Footprint Accounts, Ecological footprint (according to Global Footprint Network) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

22. Reforestation since 1992: Re-/De-forestation since 1992 (according to UNEP Environmental Data Explorer).

23. Hazardous pesticides exports: Hazardous pesticides exports (according to UNEP Environmental Data Explorer) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

24. CO2 emissions: CO2 emissions (according to World Bank) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

25. Ozone: Consumption of ozone-depleting substances - all (according to UNEP Environmental Data Explorer) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

Contributions to Prosperity and Equality

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

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

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

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

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

Contributions to Health and Wellbeing

31. Food aid: Amount of wheat tonnes equivalent food aid shipments (according to WFP) relative to the size of the economy.

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

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

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

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

GOOD COUNTRY INDEX 1.0 (2014)

Overall Rank

The overall rank is based on the average of the category ranks. All data is 2010 data unless otherwise indicated. The actual overall rank is based on 125 countries included in the index and the mean rank score for the 7 category ranks.

Categories and Indicators

For detailed information please refer to our Google Sheet here.

Contributions to Science & Technology 

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 (2009): Number of articles published in international journals (2009 latest data according to World Bank) relative to the size of the economy.

4. Nobel prizes: Accumulated Nobel prizes (up to 2010; 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.

Contributions to Culture

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

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

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

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

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

Contributions to International Peace and Security

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

12. 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).

13. 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).

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

15. Internet security (2012): Global Cyber Security Index score (according to HOST Exploit as negative indicator).

Contributions to World Order

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

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

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

19. Population growth: Population growth rate (according to World Bank as negative indicator).

20. UN Treaties signed: Number of UN treaties signed as proxy for diplomatic action and peaceful conflict resolution.

Contributions to the Planet and Climate

21. Biocapacity reserve (2009): National Footprint Accounts Biocapacity reserve (according to Global Footprint Network 2009 data).

22. Hazardous waste exports (2011): Exports of hazardous waste (according to Basel Convention) relative to the size of the economy (only 2008 and 2011 data available, so 2011 data used as negative indicator).

23. Organic water pollutant (BOD) emissions (2007): Organic water pollutant (BOD) emissions (according to World Bank) relative to the size of the economy (2007 latest data as negative indicator).

24. CO2 emissions: CO2 emissions (according to World Bank) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

25. Other greenhouse gas emissions: Methane + nitrous oxide + other greenhouse gas (HFC, PFC and SF6) emissions (according to World Bank) relative to the size of the economy (negative indicator).

Contributions to Prosperity and Equality

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

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

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

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

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

Contributions to Health and Wellbeing

31. Food aid: Amount of wheat tonnes equivalent food aid shipments (according to WFP) relative to the size of the economy.

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

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

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

35. Drug seizures: Drug seizures (according to UNODC, but recounted as pure cocaine equivalent kilograms) relative to the size of the economy.