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Teaching activity

The Good Country Index - another way to compare international progress?

Jonny Clark

3rd June 2016

The new specifications in A Level Economics challenges students to think a little more laterally about what is meant by economic progress and growth. While measuring GDP remains significant, an analytical student will include other measures to indicate how well a country or its economy may be performing. Here's an index that has been around for a few years but brings a different look at performance - the Good Country Index. By 'Good' the index is referring to how a country contributes to the planet and humanity through its policies and behaviours.

It ranks 163 countries, using a wide variety of data from many sources on 6 categories such as 'Contribution to Science and Technology' and 'Contribution to Prosperity and Equality'. These rankings are then averaged out to give an overall ranking. Sweden has been announced as the 'Goodest' country using this method and, guess what, the UK is ranked 4th in the world!

Information about the Good Country Index can be found from their website here.

In time-honoured tradition, I have created a 'Higher or Lower' classroom resource based upon the data of the top 40 countries in the Index list. Students need to 'guesstimate' whether one country's ranking in a category is higher or lower than the next country. Always a fun resource, and an opportunity to introduce the topic of measures of performance to your Year 1 (Year 12) students on their return from AS exams in preparation for next academic year's study.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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