SImon Anholt, leading authority on national identity and branding, has indexed the world to find the “goodest” country. In an earlier interview Anholt commented on the 'Swedish brand' - ".. the idea of 'Sweden' already exists as a positive construct..."

Guess which country does the most good for the planet? The Good Country Index measures how much each of 125 countries contributes to the planet. Announced in Berlin, the index features some unexpected winners and some even more surprising losers. Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor, spent the two past years compiling the index, to determine which of these countries contributes the most to the common global good. And the winner is Ireland.


“I wanted to know why people admire Country A and not Country B,” Anholt said before he unveiled the full Index at the recent TEDSalon in Berlin. “To cut a long story short, I discovered the thing people most admired is the perception that a country is good. That turned out to be much more important than the perception they’re rich or beautiful or powerful or modern or anything like that. So then I wanted to know which countries are perceived to contribute the most to humanity — and which countries actually are good.”
Good news, then, for Ireland. Less good news for the likes of the United States, which didn’t even make the top 20, coming in at number 21. What about Sweden then? Turns out Swedes have reason to be proud, as they end up on the 6th spot after (in order): Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Norway came in on 8th spot and Denmark on the 9th.
The index according to Anholt works like this: There are 125 country balance sheets graded across seven categories, including things like science and technology, world order, prosperity and equality and health and wellbeing. Each of those seven has got five datasets in them. Take for example world order. That includes five data sets representing things like how much each country gives in charity and overseas development, its population growth, and its status of ratification and signatories of UN treaties. For more information: The Good Country Index

Simon Anholt earlier questioned whether Sweden is "stealing" from its neighbors: Sweden's brand an amalgam of Nordic