What changes have been made to the Good Country Index since the first edition?

In each new edition of the Good Country Index the methodology remains the same but we are always looking for better and more relevant data sources.

In the latest edition (1.3), 3 indicators changed: Environmental Agreements Compliance (2015), Renewable Energy Share (2015), Remittance Cost. Two other indicators are based on data years other than 2016: Ecological Footprint (2014) and Creative Goods Exports (2015). The total number of countries included in the ranking has changed from 163 to 153 because of insufficient data.

Between editions 1.1 and 1.2 we had to look for alternative data sources for the following three indicators:

  • International publications
  • Creative services exports
  • Development assistance

For the Food Aid indicator, we changed the measurement unit from “wheat tonnes equivalent” to “dollar value”.

In the previous edition (1.1), we replaced seven of the thirty-five original datasets with ones that did a better job of measuring each country’s global impact:

1. In the Peace and Security category, we used a new dataset to measure Internet Security.

2. In the World Order category, we replaced Population Growth with Birth Rate.

3. In the Planet and Climate category, we replaced four out of the five indicators:

o Ecological Footprint (per GDP$) replaced Biocapacity Reserve

o Reforestation Since 1992 replaced Hazardous Waste Exports

o Hazardous Pesticides Exports replaced Water Pollution

o Consumption of Ozone-Depleting Substances replaced Other Greenhouse gas emissions

4. In the Health and Wellbeing category, International Health Regulations Compliance replaced Drug Seizures.

For these reasons, any changes in a country’s ranking in the affected categories since the previous edition of the Good Country Index may be wholly or partly the result of these modifications, rather than any change in the country’s real performance.

In future editions of the Good Country Index, we will continue to include better data whenever we find it, which means that direct comparisons between one edition and another won’t be straightforward: but we feel that this is a worthwhile price to pay for a constantly improving study.