Good guys Swedes – Why Sweden was ranked 1st in the Good Country Index

Well, there is a bunch of positive things you can say about Swedes: they are polite, educated, tolerant and have a low risk of interrupting you when you are speaking. Now there is one more thing you can add to that list: they are the good guys. Apparently, the best. At least according to this year The Good Country Index.


There is no need to look far for the scary news and global problems. It is enough if we turn the TV on during any news program: international conflicts, environmental disasters, incurable diseases. In face of these dangers, we all need a place to feel safe. And we all need to work together to make the world a better place. That’s why the Good Country Index was started to measure how different nations contribute to common well-being of humanity.


The Good Country Index is a an annual index of how much each country “contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size”. The data measured by the index are provided by various international organisations and is concerning only the deeds the country has done that affect global population, not the nation itself. The data is relative to the size and often divided by the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). And according to this year’s results… Sweden is currently the most altruistic country on Earth (surprised? I’m not!).


The overall ranking is divided in 7 main categories: Science &Technology, Culture, International Peace & Security, World Order, Planet & Climate, Prosperity & Equality and Health & Well-being. Sweden not only holds the first place in the overall ranking but also is the biggest contributor when it comes to the two last categories. This is due to very high factors assessing food aid, pharmaceutical exports, voluntary excess donations to the WHO, International Health Regulations Compliance, FDI outflows and Development assistance. Other things Sweden is exceling in are: Nobel prizes (duh), patents, press freedom (woo!), freedom of movement and low CO2 emissions.


Anyone already irritated by this this seemingly ideal country? Good news for those of you who hate perfection – there is also a couple of factors Sweden was rated BELOW AVERAGE. Shocking! Out of total of 23 factors that were taken into consideration, only 3 have results that position Sweden below the average. International violent conflict, arms exports and… number of international students relative to the size of economy! I am not sure how is that possible since it feels like it is THE LAND of international students (trust me student parties are actually spot the Swede contests) but… That just means there is place for more! Simply by becoming an international student you too can help Sweden to become even better at being good.


Here you can see all the results and check out how does your own country compare to Sweden!

Featured photo: No, it’s not Swedes celebrating winning the Good Country (although I would like to think so). It’s just a normal crayfish party. Yes, you have read that well: a CRAYFISH PARTY. Just Sweden being Sweden. Nothing to see here. Credits: Carolina Romare/



A Polish student studying Interaction Design Master's at Malmö University. Contact me at agnieszka.studyinsweden(at)
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