26 November, 2020
The escapism of imagining a different life in a different country can be intoxicating; particularly when most of us have barely left our post code in the last few months. But where is good? Two global measures of ‘good’ have been recently updated that, as well as being guides to good living, can focus our minds on the most important priorities for our societies as we look towards the future.
The Good Country Index 2020, founded by our friend Simon Anholt, places Sweden at the top for the second time in five years, followed by Denmark and Germany. The Index measures a country’s “balance-sheet towards humanity and the planet” relative to the size of its economy, based on dimensions like science, culture, peace, health and sustainability. The UK sits in 8th and the US is in 38th, one place behind Malta. We encourage you to explore their interactive tool where you can add and remove dimensions of ‘good’ and see how the index reorders – great for planning your next move. But the bigger picture is more important: the Index promotes international collaboration for a better world.
The Legatum Prosperity Index serves a different purpose: to promote inclusive, open and empowered societies that prioritise prosperity for all. It focuses on measures of economic freedom, social capital and quality of life, and the results are startlingly similar to the Good Country Index, with Denmark coming out on top. The accompanying 2020 report warns that, after a decade of continuously rising global prosperity, this year has seen a slowing and even deterioration of progress. This is not because of the financial impacts of Covid-19, it is about the response that has seen a shift towards mindsets that reduce freedom, innovation and inclusion. Legatum hopes the Index can be used by world leaders to navigate this tricky course.
By Ben Wood