How do we measure the perfect country?

For a long time, GDP has been the dominant way the success of a country is judged. Still today, the biggest headlines come from the release of quarterly GDP figures, and governments' fates can depend on them. But now, there are more people, organisations and governments who are realising that GDP cannot measure a country's success. Several organisations are looking at interesting other ways of doing so. Here are some that we like:

The legatum prosperity index

The Legatum Prosperity Index ranks countries based on indicators of prosperity. They include economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment in their categories of indicators. How did the countries from our episodes do? How did your country do?

  1. Australia (6th)
  2. USA (Michigan) (17th)
  3. Japan (22nd)
  4. Portugal (25th)
  5. Estonia (26th)
  6. Costa Rica (29th)
  7. Peru (64th)
  8. China (Shanghai) (90th)
  9. Tunisia (93rd)
  10. India (104th)
  11. Uganda (116th) 

Bermuda - No Data Available

The happy planet index

The Happy Planet Index measures "what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives."  It is an index set up by the New Economics Foundation. Here's how the countries from our two series did:

  1. Costa Rica (1st)
  2. Peru (21st)
  3. India (50th)
  4. Japan (58th)
  5. Tunisia (71st)
  6. China (Shanghai) (72nd)
  7. Portugal (79th)
  8. Australia (105th)
  9. USA (Michigan) (108th)
  10. Uganda (112th)
  11. Estonia (118th)

Bermuda - No Data Available




The World Happiness Report ranks countries on their levels of happiness. Read more about the World Happiness Report here.

  1. Australia (9th)
  2. USA (Michigan) (13th)
  3. Costa Rica (14th)
  4. Japan (53rd)
  5. Peru (64th)
  6. Estonia (72nd)
  7. China (Shanghai) (83rd)
  8. Portugal (94th)
  9. Tunisia (98th)
  10. India (120th)
  11. Uganda (146th) 

Bermuda - No data available


The Social Progress Index aims to provide a holistic vision of societal progress. Here is a TED talk from Michael Green, Executive Director of the Social Progress Index

  1. Australia (4th)
  2. Japan (14th)
  3. USA (Michigan) (19th)
  4. Portugal (21st)
  5. Estonia (23rd)
  6. Costa Rica (28th)
  7. Peru (49th) 
  8. Tunisia (56th)
  9. China (Shanghai) (84th)
  10. India (98th)
  11. Uganda (107th)

Bermuda - No Data Available