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Country Rankings

This is a list of country rankings based on indicators that try to measure different comparable characteristics of countries around the world. Most of these rankings are ongoing and recurring.

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Development country rankings

Be careful when using these indexes. They measure qualities that are difficult to quantify. Moreover, methodologies often change year to year; therefore, multiyear comparisons are often invalid. For these reasons, it is important to know the methodologies used to derive these cross country comparisons before using them. Most of the indexes included provide their methodology.

Search tip: If you are looking for an indicator, e.g. stability, do a search in the search box for the database that you select. That will let you know which index measures that quality.

  • Basic Capabilities Index (2007- ) from Social Watch
    The BCI is an attempt to measure poverty without using income statistics. It is a simple average of three indicators: percentage of children who reach fifth grade; survival until the fifth year of age (based on mortality among children under five); and percentage of deliveries attended by skilled health personnel.
  • Commitment to Development Index (2003- ) from Center for Global Development
    Rates 22 rich countries on how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government and security.
  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) (2003 p.16, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2007) from International Telecommunication Union
    The DOI is a measure of the digital divide and compare Information and Communication Technology (ICT) performance within and across countries. It is based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in 3 clusters: opportunity, infrastructure and utilization. The 2003 DOI covers 40 countries; subsequent DOI covers over 180 economies.
  • ELLI Index: European Lifelong Learning Indicators (2010) from Bertelsmann Stiftung
    Assessment of the state of lifelong learning in Europe.
  • E-readiness Rankings (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) from the Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM Institute for Business Value
    Measures the quality of a country’s ICT infrastructure and the ability of its consumers, businesses and governments to use ICT to their benefit. Consists of over 100 quantitative and qualitative criteria and are organised into six primary categories.
  • Global Hunger Index from International Food Policy Research Institute
    The Global Hunger Index is a measure of hunger and malnutrition.and ranks countries based on three indicators: proportion of people who are calorie deficient, child malnutrition prevalence, and child mortality rate. Countries are ranked on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst. Covers developing countries and countries in transition. The GHI ranking can be found in each of the Global Hunger Index reports.
  • Human Development Index (HDI) (1980- ) from United Nations Development Programme
    Previous years are available in older Human Development Reports. The HDI is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic dimensions of human development and four indicators:
    • Health - measured by life expectancy at birth.
    • Education - measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age.
    • Living standard - measured by GNI per capita (PPP$).
  • Human Poverty Index (1997- ) from United Nations Development Programme
    The HPI is a composite of three indicators that measure three basic dimensions of deprivation: a short life (percentage of people with life expectancy below ages 40 and 60 ); lack of basic education (percentage of adults who are illiterate), and lack of access to public and private resources. The rankings are available in each of the Human Development Reports starting from the 1997 edition. (Call number: HD72 .H85 in Ready Reference) There are two Human Poverty Indexes:
    • The HPI-1 for developing countries.
    • The HPI-2 for developed countries. Includes social exclusion in addition to the three dimensions in HPI-1.
  • Humanitarian Response Index (2007- ) from DARA
    The HRI assesses and ranks wealthy countries against their commitment to improve the quality and effectivess of their humanitarian assistance. The HRI uses both quantitative and qualitative data to build 35 indicators, organised into five pillars, which capture the essence of the Principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship. The pillars correspond to five basic questions:
    • Are donor responses based on the needs of affected populations and not subordinated to political, strategic or other interests?
    • Do donors support strengthening local capacity, prevention of future crises and long-term recovery?
    • Do donor policies and practices effectively support the work of humanitarian organisations?
    • Do donors respect international humanitarian law and actively promote humanitarian access to enable protection of civilians affected by crises?
    • Do donors contribute to accountability and learning in humanitarian action?
  • ICT Indicators Database Online and ICT Prices from International Telecommunication Union
    Captures the level of advancement of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in more than 150 countries worldwide. The IDI is devised using 11 indicators in the 3 sub-indices of ICT access, ICT use, and ICT skills. It is formed by the merging of the Digital Opportunity Index and the ICT Opportunity Index. ICT Prices measures the affordability of fixed and mobile telephony and fixed broadband Internet services.
  • Legatum Prosperity Index (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) from Legatum Institute
    The Prosperity Index ranks 50 (2007) and 104 (2008) nations by how well they are doing the kinds of things necessary to raise GDP (i.e., promoting economic competitiveness) and to raise average subjective wellbeing or life satisfaction (i.e., promoting comparative liveability). It is an index of the drivers of prosperity rather than an index of prosperity outcomes.
  • Networked Readiness Index (2002- present) from World Economic Forum and INSEAD
    Aims at measuring economies’ capacity to fully leverage ICT for increased competitiveness and development. It is based on a mixture of hard data and survey data from the annual Executive Opinion Survey.
  • Trade and Development Index (2005, 2007) from UNCTAD
    Indicates how effectively trade is integrated into the development process across different countries.
  • World Giving Index from Charities Aid Foundation
    The CAF World Giving Index is an average of three measures; the proportion of the public in each of the 153 countries who had, in the previous month, given money to charity, given time to those in need and helped a stranger.
  • World Happiness Index (2012, 2013, 2015- )
    Ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels,  according to their average life evaluations over the previous three years, followed by a ranking of changes in life evaluations from 2008-2010 to 2015-2017. Starting with the 2018 report, ranks 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.