Welcome to the latest edition of the Good Country Index.

The GCI is a different way of looking at the world. Instead of measuring how well countries are doing (there are many indexes that already do this), the GCI tries to measure how much countries are doing: what do they actually contribute to the world outside their own borders, to humanity, and our planet?

Looking after their own citizens and their own territory is the first requirement of all countries and their governments. But in our age of global challenges—climate change, conflict, pandemics, poverty—it’s no longer enough. Countries have to work together to secure our future.

The Good Country Index is an annual report card for over 160 countries, revealing which ones are working for all of us, which ones are only working for their own interests, which ones aren’t working for either, and which ones are working against us.  

Using a wide range of data from the United Nations and other international organizations, we give each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.

This isn’t about making moral judgments. A ‘good country’ isn’t the opposite of a ‘bad country’: it’s simply a country that contributes to the greater good. It’s the start of a conversation, not the end of one.

Since it was launched in 2014, the main purpose of the Good Country Index has been to encourage a global debate about what countries are really for. Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses, and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet? The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we’re all in deep trouble.  

Today as never before, we desperately need a world made of good countries. We will only get them by demanding them: from our leaders, our companies, our societies, and of course from ourselves.

Simon Anholt

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