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The Netherlands tops the Good Country Index - by Mina Solanki

Amsterdam downtown
This year, the Netherlands has climbed to the top of the Good Country Index. Based on several indicators, this index ranks countries according to what they contribute to the greater good of humanity.

A Good Country is a country that helps its people and does not harm, but preferably furthers the interests of people in other countries as well. No moral judgements are made about the country being assessed.

This year, the Good Country Index published its third edition, with previous editions assessing countries in 2016 and 2014. In this edition, the index focussed on 163 countries and ranked them according to seven categories.

The seven categories were: global contribution to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality and health and wellbeing.

For each category, five indicators were used, which were given fractional rankings. The category ranking resulted from calculating the mean of the five indicators, and the overall ranking from the average of the categories. The data used to determine the ranking was from 2014, unless otherwise purported in the results.

The Netherlands took overall first place, in the 2017 edition, scoring particularly well on global contributions to culture, world order and prosperity and equality. In these categories, the Netherlands scored second, third and fourth place respectively. Notably, the Netherlands did not score first place in any one category.

Taking second and third place were Switzerland and Denmark. Switzerland obtained its highest score, second place, in the global contribution to planet and climate, and Denmark also landed second place in the global contribution to prosperity and equality.

Following on from Switzerland and Denmark, Finland and Germany placed fourth and fifth in the Good Country Index. Neither scored first place on any one category. In sixth place is the first of the countries assessed to score first place on a category, namely Sweden, with first place for the global contribution to health and wellbeing.

Finishing at the bottom of the ranking are Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan in respective 161st, 162nd and 163rd place. Libya takes last place in the global contribution to culture.

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