It’s a wonderful place to visit, it’s a wonderful place to live, and now it’s the best country in the world when it comes to giving back.
Yes, one of our favourite timeshare destinations, Ireland, has topped the first ever Good Country Index.
Ranked at the number one spot because of its contributions to humanity and the planet, Ireland performed best in a spread of 35 separate indicators sourced from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international institutions.
A timeshare favourite with the British and American market and famous for its lush green landscape, wild beaches, warm welcome, horse racing and golf (not to mention a certain very famous beer!) the Emerald Isle consistently does well in “best places to live” indices and now it has scooped the top spot in the new Good Country Index.
By comparison, the UK came seventh overall, but Britain did manage to pip Ireland on the tech front, coming top for the best contribution to science and technology.
Scandinavia scored well also, for its collective contribution to humanity and the planet, beating all other world regions.
The US came 21st with poor scores on international peace and security which dragged it down into the twenties.
Nine of the top 10 countries are in Western Europe, making this part of Europe the best-ranked part of the world in the new Good Country Index.
The Good Index was created by a group of researchers who took into account the size of a country’s economy, its global contributions to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, respect for the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.
Policy adviser Simon Anholt, who designed the survey, 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.”
The survey had not been created to “name and shame” or make moral judgements about countries, but instead to highlight and commend those countries contributing to the greater good in a small but big world, and ask the big question, “what is the purpose of a country, in the big picture?”
“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 asks.
“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.
As the website says:
“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.”