We all hear that 'the world's a big place' regularly, and with approximately 196 countries in the world, that's indisputable. But as travel gets easier, international cooperation becomes more efficient and visa applications become digitized, the options for travel are endless. When it comes to booking vacations or even selecting a new location in which to settle down, work and raise a family, most of us can pick and choose with relative ease depending on what we're looking for in our new land of choice.
Whatever climate or culture you desire, there's sure to be at least one location in the world that's bound to satisfy your needs. But, subjective concerns aside, which countries are truly the 'best'? Is it even possible to rank such a wide ranging ideal? Yes, in fact, such a list does exist. Bear with us...
Analysts at goodcountry.org have come up with a “Good Country Index” which has an overall ranking system for countries to determine which nations are truly 'good'. The notion of 'good' as defined by the GCI is based on numerous, widely representative factors including a country's contribution to protecting the planet and the climate, the nation's level of prosperity and equality, their contribution to international peacekeeping, and to the advancement of science and technology. This ranking, while controversial, is heavily fact- and statistic-based and gives us a general idea of each country's priorities, and of the qualities each country brings to the international community.
Whether you're simply a visitor, a citizen of the country, or a potential immigrant, there are definite perks to being part of the following 10 best countries in the world, as defined by their overall rankings on the Good Country Index.
7 United Kingdom
5 New Zealand
The coveted spot of number one best country goes, somewhat controversially, to the island of Ireland. Not only did it grab the number one position in the overall rankings, but it also ranks first in the category of Prosperity and Equality. The country, which is in the process of bouncing back from an almost crippling recession, supports Fair Trade and has a strong presence of UN volunteers abroad. It also ranks within the international top 10 for categories such as Culture, World Order, and Health and Wellbeing. However, no country is perfect and even this number 1 nation has garnered some negative press for its approach to issues like sexual equality; Ireland's largely Catholic constitution means it still lags behind many other European nations in terms of equal rights advancements.
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