Up until elementary school, most kids believe they're creative geniuses -- having mom and dad hang finger paintings and scribbles on the fridge really boosts a kid's confidence. But then kindergarten starts, art classes get more advanced, and BOOM! You realize it takes more than a box of Crayolas and construction paper to really be a creative genius. Some are just better than others.
And to that end, some entire countries rank as more creative than others, too. So says the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) at the University of Toronto, though its metrics have nothing to do with your ability to color inside the lines. No, for its Global Creativity Index (GCI), MPI used three main criteria to rank the most innovative countries: technology, talent, and tolerance. And in the end, Australia ranked as the most creative nation in the world, followed up by the United States in second, and New Zealand in third.
Now, the whole measure isn't straightforward, so let's explain: " tech" measures R&D investment and patents per capita; “talent” measures the percentage of adults with degrees and the percentage of workforce that works in creative trades; while “tolerance”measures a nation's policies toward immigrants, the LGBT community and minorities. The GCI surveyed 139 countries, as complete data was not available for every nation.
Sure, the index is a little wonky, but as MPI points out in its executive summary, "Generally speaking, higher levels of global creativity are associated with lower levels of inequality. This goes both ways: nations that invest in creativity tend to be more equal societies and more equal societies tend to invest more in creativity."
TL;DR: investing in creativity is a sign your country is doing OK.
Take a look at the top 10, or check out the full report for yourself.
5 (tie). Finland
5 (tie). Denmark
3. New Zealand
2. United States
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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News editor. He gave up his dream of being an artist after repeated Bs in Fine Arts. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.