Ireland has been named 'Best good country in the world' as it has made the greatest contribution to humanity and the planet, according to the first ever Good Country Index.
The survey ranked 125 countries by combining 35 separate indicators from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international institutions, as reported by The Independent.
As well as looking at a country's global contribution to science and technology, researchers also examined a nations' global contributions to culture, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, international peace and security, and the health and well-being of humanity.
While Ireland topped the list, The Nordic region was said to have made a 'collective' contribution' to humanity and the planet. The UK came 7th in the overall poll, but scored 1st in its contribution to science and technology. The US came 21st as they scored poorly on international peace and security. Outside of Europe, and the English-speaking world, Costa Rica ranked highest in 22nd place and Chile in 24th. Kenya was named best African nation at 26, and was the only country from the continent in the top 30. Coming joint bottom of the list are war-torn countries Iraq, Libya and Vietnam.
"The Good Country Index will change the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions, what the index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet" said Simon Anholt, a policy adviser who designed the survey.
He added that the survey was not intended to "name and shame" or make moral judgements about countries, but rather to recognise the importance of contributing to the greater good in a globalised society and spark debate about what the purpose of a country is.
"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?" he asked.
Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, Ireland's inward investment promotion agency, said "surveys like this one contribute to Ireland's reputation abroad as a good place to live and do business, they recognises Ireland's open trading culture, as well as the level of foreign direct investment that Ireland continues to enjoy"
"Other factors that companies take into account when locating are also recognised here, including each country's 'freedom of movement' and our ongoing population growth, which is providing companies with skilled graduates." he added
The "most good" part of the world is Western Europe with 9 of the top 10 countries located here: