How Did the Netherlands Become the Number One 'Good Country’?

The Dutch houses of parliament in the Hague
The Dutch houses of parliament in the Hague | © pixabay
Photo of Tom Coggins
21 December 2017

Even though it might seem hard to swallow considering 2017’s tumultuous political climate, it is worth remembering that many nation-states are actually working towards common, global goals which will hopefully make the world a better place for future generations.

For the first time in history, there’s a non-governmental organisation called the Good Country, which ranks nations according to their contributions towards international wellbeing, allowing citizens to review whether their homelands are rising to the challenge, or sadly lagging behind. Every year this NGO publishes an index which analyses countries according to several, interrelated criteria, then reveals which nations are world-leaders when its comes to progressive politics.

The latest index named the Netherlands as the number one ‘Good Country’ in the world, a title that’s well-deserved when you take into the account the information provided by the NGO in question. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 ‘Good Countries’ (in descending order) as well as the reasons behind their positions on the index.

10. Norway

Although Norway didn’t fare quite as well as its closest neighbours, Sweden, Denmark or Finland, it still managed to make it onto the top 10 countries on the index. According to the brains behind this ranking system, Norway has successfully moved away from harmful ecological practises and has an extremely low carbon footprint. Norway also uses money generated by its economy to fund global health and wellbeing projects that support communities beyond its borders.

Norway pays a lot of attention to issues related to climate | © pixabay

9. Austria

Austria was awarded the ninth spot on the index due to several reasonably well-known factors that are commonly associated with the country. Its contributions towards culture, science and technology, for example, are extremely high, and Austria exports a serious amount of services and goods related to these sectors. Austria was also praised for its diplomatic achievements and peacekeeping efforts.

© pixabay

8. The United Kingdom

The Good Country’s sources indicate that the United Kingdom is a world leader when its comes to science and technology – possibly due to the high concentration of excellent universities found within British borders. Aside from research and eduction, the United Kingdom did very well in regards to health and donates a serious amount of cash towards global wellbeing programs.

The UK’s tech and science sector is among the best in the world | © pixabay

7. Ireland

The Republic of Ireland was awarded the spot just above the United Kingdom for several reasons. According to the Good Country’s metrics, the Emerald Isle has better prosperity and equality policies than anywhere else on earth, and heavily supports important, international commerce programs including the fair trade markets. Its contributions toward world health are also extremely high.

Ireland has some pretty impressive policies regarding equality and prosperity | © pixabay

6. Sweden

Yep, that’s two out of three continental Scandinavian countries already (and the final nation isn’t far behind either). Even though Sweden did pretty well across the board, the Good Country’s index shows that the northerly nation boasts exceptionally high levels of health, equality and culture.

All three continental, Scandinavian countries were included on the index’s top ten | © pixabay

5. Germany

Germany’s charitable stance towards international issues helped the country secure fifth place on the list. The nation also participates in a lot of UN programs and other voluntary schemes that help people in need throughout the world.

Germany supports many international projects, that are meant to make the world a better place | © pixabay

4. Finland

Fourth place was awarded to Finland, partly due to the country’s all-around efforts to improve wellbeing, prosperity and equality worldwide. Finland also ranks among the lowest producers of CO2 in the world and maintains many green policies that are designed to address climate change.

Finland has a very low carbon footprint | © pixabay

3. Denmark

Denmark was the highest-scoring continental Scandinavian country on the list and outshone its closest neighbours by a decent margin. The country scored very highly on basically every metric reviewed on the index and channels sizeable chunks of its economy into international programs related to global development, food aid and humanitarian relief.

Denmark was the highest ranking Scandinavian country on the list | © pixabay

2. Switzerland

Landlocked Switzerland almost made it to the top spot on the index, but fell short just behind the Netherlands. Its praiseworthy climate policies were among the many reasons behind this high ranking, as well as the country’s ongoing efforts to support international aid projects. Press freedom is also extremely high in Switzerland and the country possesses an impressive, internationally conscious cultural sector – according to the index.

Smaller, European countries like Switzerland featured prominently on the index’s top ten list | © pixabay

1. The Netherlands

The land of bikes, windmills and tulips was awarded the number one spot on the index. Even though the Netherlands scored highly on almost every metric analysed by the Good Country, it did exceptionally well in regards to culture, prosperity and equality. The country’s famously liberal stance towards political and economic issues almost certainly helped it achieve these results, and the index demonstrates that the Netherlands pours a lot of money into collaborative, international ventures. It also exports massive amounts of creative goods and services, while maintaining very low restrictions on its borders.

Not to mention the nation’s delighful architecture! | © pixabay

So that’s the top 10! Were you surprised by the results? Or thought that they were glaringly obvious? Then, let us know in the comments.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"