Sweden is top power for good in the world, new report claims
Posted on 08/11/2017


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Sweden has come top in a new report that rated 163 countries on their impact on the world and humanity. The findings of the report, known as the 'Good Country Index', are based on figures from the UN and World Bank.

Sweden's done it again

Sweden's done it again

The results are based on 35 different criteria that Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor and the creator of the index, consolidated into the areas of each country's global contribution to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and wellbeing.

Sweden came first in the categories of prosperity and equality and health and wellbeing. This is by no means a new experience for Sweden, as Anholt told The Local, "Sweden must be bored of coming top in every bloody country index but that's the fact of the matter." Just last September, the country came third in the Global Innovation Index, partly thanks to its elite research universities, and has never dropped out of the top three.

Sweden's success in such reports is said to have its roots in the country's focus on both domestic and international human rights. It operates a parental leave policy of 480 days, for example, with 90 of these reserved for fathers in order to promote bonding. On the overseas level, it will often send its doctors abroad for aid during health crises and pandemics.

However, it too has its weaknesses. Its heavy arms exports and refugee-related conflicts meant that it came 52nd in International Peace and Security, and 11th in the World Order category.

Anholt says that this just goes to show that countries can co-operate to help each other. Sweden's strong social innovation could be a good example for the US to improve their low ratings in Prosperity and Equality as well as health and wellbeing. South Africa, on the other hand, could teach Sweden to wean themselves off the weapons trade.

The website states that the goal of the index is to "start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet."

Other top players in the index included Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Coming bottom of the list were Iraq, the Central African Republic, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya.