Is the Nordic Region best in the world?


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We often hear that the Nordic countries are at the top of one international index or another. International indices are lists ranking countries in a variety ofdifferent areas, such as inhabitants’ happiness or economic competitiveness. The number of indices and the attention they attract have increased markedlyin recent years, acquiring a significant degree of authority and legitimacy. Consequently the Nordic Council of Ministers’ policy analysis unit has studiedhow the Nordic Region would be ranked in some selected international indices if the region were one country.The indices we have looked at show that life in the Nordic Region is good. The region’s inhabitants are among the most prosperous in the world. There isconsiderable freedom of the press, and the region is one of the world’s least corrupt. Men and women enjoy greater equality than anywhere else on theplanet. And the region’s inhabitants are among the world’s happiest. That said, there is no certainty that the Nordic Region will retain its good rankings in theseindices. Like all other countries, the Nordic countries face major challenges in the years ahead. In order for life in the Nordic Region to remain good, the countriesmust maintain the mechanisms that support a high level of social capital, effective governance, and relatively egalitarian and equal societies.This report is written by the Nordic Council of Ministers' policy analysis unit. The report series will highlight relevant topics that are central from a Nordicperspective. This is the second report in the series. The first was ”Trust – the Nordic Gold”, which was published in spring 2017.
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