Denmark takes silver in the Good Country Index

The country performed well across a diversity of measures and was ultimately beaten only by a long-standing rival and neighbour

After placing sixth in 2018, Denmark has shot up to second in this year’s Good Country Index – beaten only by neighbouring Sweden.

The index measures a country’s contribution to “the common good of humanity and the planet” and describes itself as a “balance-sheet” of contributions beyond their borders.

Happy, healthy and prosperous 
Denmark’s success was driven largely by high scores in two categories: prosperity and equality, and health and well-being. In both the country placed in the top five.

A real all-rounder, Denmark also placed in top ten for global contributions to world order, culture, and science and technology.

Perhaps surprising, however, was its 21st place in the realm of planet and climate. For a country with such a green outlook, it finished below Sweden, Germany and Canada – the countries that rounded off the top four.

A fresh perspective 
The Good Country Index is the conceptual brainchild of British political scientist Simon Anholt and has been running since 2014.

“I’ve spent the last 20 years as an advisor to the presidents, PMs and monarchs of 56 countries and, as you can imagine, it has given me a unique perspective on what’s really gone wrong with our world,” said Anholt whilst discussing his latest book: ‘The Good Country Equation’.

Data behind the figures is drawn largely from the UN, with contributions judged relative to the size of a country’s GDP.