# The Most Thoughtful Societies Index

## Study ranks the level of respect and compassion that countries and their citizens around the world have for one another, by evaluating a range of legislative and social factors.

At MyPostcard, we place great value on kind gestures between people, something the world has desperately needed in recent times. Given this, we decided to undertake a study measuring the most thoughtful societies in the world based on factors that indicate a society’s thoughtfulness. The resulting index shines a light on the most thoughtful countries in the world from both a legislative and societal perspective.

We started the study by collecting data on 200 UN nations, which we then narrowed down to a final shortlist of 50 countries with reliable and comparable data. During the research process, it became clear that some countries’ human rights infringements, for example in the areas of gender or minority equality, meant they could not be considered ‘thoughtful’ to all. We therefore removed these countries from the ‘Total’ results table, which ranks the most thoughtful countries in the world, while leaving them in the individual factor tables where they perform well. Although the top 35 countries in the ‘Total’ table are not perfect - there is always room for improvement - we deemed that overall they were working towards a fairer and more equal society for everyone.

The first category we analysed was the level of philanthropy in each country. For this, we considered the role of citizens by looking at how much people donate to charity, how compassionate people consider themselves to be, and the rate of volunteering. We then evaluated the role of the state by determining the social security benefits available to people in need, and how much governments spend on public services,

In light of the war in Ukraine and other ongoing conflicts we also assessed each country’s contribution to supporting refugees, a clear measure of any country’s compassion and empathy towards others. To do this, we analysed the total number of people with refugee status in each country from Ukraine and elsewhere, as well as the amount of government funding devoted to helping refugees. In order to measure thoughtfulness towards refugees on a societal level, we also measured how open each country’s citizens are to accepting migrants and foreigners.

Then, we assessed each country based on how equal their societies are. To do this, we focused on public access to and quality of healthcare and education, the levels of gender and minority equality and how socially mobile people can be.

Finally, we established what support for families is like in each location by looking at the number of people who look after elderly family members, how much state money goes on elderly care as well as child support.

## Instructions for journalists

The index reveals the most thoughtful societies in the world ranked by score. The tables below contain the results, where a higher score indicates a more thoughtful country. You can filter each factor from highest to lowest and vice versa by clicking on the icon above each column. To see how each factor was calculated as well as the sources used, select an icon and the relevant section of the overall methodology will appear to the right of the table.

#
Country
Total
1
Netherlands
100.00
2
98.95
3
Finland
98.16
4
Germany
98.12
5
Australia
97.25
6
New Zealand
97.06
7
Sweden
96.99
8
USA
94.69
9
Norway
93.80
10
Ireland
93.77
11
Iceland
93.70
12
UK
91.42
13
Austria
91.23
14
Switzerland
91.12
15
Denmark
90.52
16
Belgium
89.47
17
Singapore
87.45
18
France
87.17
19
Luxembourg
87.15
20
Spain
84.78
21
Israel
83.65
22
Czechia
81.62
23
Estonia
81.39
24
Italy
80.05
25
Portugal
78.69
26
Poland
76.77
27
Croatia
76.05
28
Mongolia
76.03
29
Japan
75.49
30
Slovakia
75.48
31
Thailand
74.74
32
Costa Rica
74.34
33
Malaysia
73.02
34
Colombia
70.89
35
Chile
70.05

## Methodology

The Most Thoughtful Societies Index uses data to rank the level of respect and compassion that people in countries around the world have for their fellow inhabitants and peers. The study collected data from 200 UN nations before narrowing it down to reveal the 50 top-scoring nations based on the availability of comparable data. In cases where countries were deemed to infringe on fundamental human rights, for example in areas of gender or minority equality, they were excluded from the ‘Total’ ranking.

A wide variety of factors that fit into three broader categories were assessed: the level of philanthropy, how equally people are treated and the family support offered in each location.

### Factors & Scoring

Each factor consists of one or more indicators that were scored and averaged. The equation for scoring is as follows:
$\small{Score = {x - mean(X) \over Standard\ deviation(X)}}$ in short ${x - \mu} \over \sigma$

For columns where a lower value is better, the score is inverted so that a high score is always better:
$\small{Score_{inverted} = - {x - mean(X) \over Standard\ deviation(X)}}$ in short $-{{x - \mu} \over \sigma}$

Data is normalised on a [50-100] scale, with 100 being the best score. Therefore, the higher the score, the better the country ranks for that factor in comparison to the other countries in the index. The formula used is min-max normalisation:
$\small{score = (100-50)*{x - min(X) \over max(X)- min(X)}+50}$

The final score was determined by calculating the sum of the weighted average score of all indicators. Below you can find a detailed description of each factor within the study and the sources used.

##### Criteria for Disqualification

The criteria for disqualification centres around the mistreatment of women and minorities, the criminalisation of the LGBTQ+ community and human rights violations that are entrenched in the laws and legal framework of the country. Countries with discriminatory laws and government mandates in these areas have therefore been removed from the overall ranking of the most thoughtful countries. They may, however, still appear in specific factor rankings.

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