It seems we’re the best country in the world — officially

It seems we are a great little nation after all. A new worldwide index of places to live has named Ireland as the best country in which to live.

Using a wide range of UN data, The Good Country Index ranked 125 countries around the world “on what they contribute to humanity and the rest of the planet”.

And it seems that, in the words of the organisers, Ireland is “the goodest country in the world” — which might be news to many of us.

Those behind the first global index say: “For the size of its economy, [Ireland’s] combined global contributions to science and technology; culture, international peace and security; world order; planet and climate; prosperity and equality; and the health and wellbeing of humanity, outranks those of any other country.”

Each country was graded across seven different categories and Ireland was placed in the top 10 in four of them, including, taking top slot in the ‘Equality and Prosperity’ category.

Ireland was ranked fourth when it came to ‘World Order,’ seventh in ‘Culture,’ and ninth in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category.

We fared less well when it came to ‘Science and Technology’, where Ireland is ranked 20th, and in the category ‘International Peace and Security’, where Ireland is ranked 33rd (then again, Egypt is ranked number one). As for ‘Planet and Climate’, Ireland is ranked a lowly 45th.

No matter, because once the scores are aggregated, Ireland is officially the best, ahead of Finland in second place and Switzerland in third.

European countries occupy nine of the top 10 places, with only New Zealand, in fifth, a representative of other continents, while Iraq, Vietnam and, in last place, Libya, are bottom of the rankings.

Independent policy adviser Simon Anholt, the founder of the index, said Ireland’s overall ranking matched that of Finland, but because Finland’s lowest category ranking of 53rd was below Ireland’s lowest of 45th, we got the nod.

“The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: A country that manages to reconcile good governance at home with a real and constant contribution to the greater good of humanity and the planet,” he added.

* See the full breakdown at

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