Simon Anholt – How ‘Good’ is Your Country?

Simon Anholt – The Good Country Index: a radical study that measures the contribution nations make to humanity as a whole.

The Good Country Index: a radical study that measures the contribution nations make to humanity as a whole.

Countries should no longer be judged purely on the progress or prosperity of their own citizens, but also on the impact they have on the rest of humanity and the rest of the planet. That’s why Simon Anholt created the Good Country Index: the first and only survey that, instead of measuring country performance in isolation, measures what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.

The only study of its kind, the Good Country Index is the brainchild of Simon Anholt, an Independent Advisor who has worked with the Heads of State and Governments of more than fifty countries. His aim is “to find ways of encouraging countries to collaborate and co-operate a lot more, and compete a bit less.”

Through the Index, Simon aims to further this goal by stimulating a global discussion on how countries can balance duty to their populace with responsibility to the wider world. He argues this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of the planet, and with the Brexit vote soon, his timing couldn’t be more fortuitous.

The global impact of each country is measured across seven categories, with five individual indicators in each category (the full data for both editions of the Index is available at

Explaining the Index, Anholt says “A Good Country is one that successfully contributes to the good of humanity. Of course it must serve the interests of its own people, but never at the expense of other populations or their natural resources: this is the new law of human survival, and it’s a balance which is far more easily maintained than many people imagine. Working together makes for better policy than working alone.”

“This upgraded and updated edition of the Index puts Sweden in first place because, relative to the size of its economy, it simply does more ‘good’ and less harm than any other country on earth. However it’s important to note that the performance of smaller countries in the Index tends to be more volatile: this is unavoidable as events naturally make a bigger difference to smaller countries. This partly explains why Ireland, Kenya, Iceland and Costa Rica have experienced significant drops in ranking.”

“Most of our problems are rapidly and dangerously multiplying because of globalisation. We need our governments to understand that they’re not just responsible for their own voters and taxpayers, but for every living thing on the planet. They must collaborate and cooperate more, not less; the UK, for example, isn’t just an island unconnected to the rest of Europe or to the rest of the world. Just like every other country on earth, it is part of one system. If it fails, we all fail.”