There are all sorts of rankings out there that'll tell you the happiest country, or the best country for expats, or, hell, probably the best country for subsisting solely on bananas. But when it comes to being the best -- just the best, period -- well, that's a different story. And according to one big mashup ranking using a bunch of those rankings, Norway is the best country in the world. Period.
Sure, there is personal preferences to consider, and probably a million other elements, but the people behind the Prosperity Index did their best to weigh a lot of variables when choosing their top countries. They looked at 89 factors and determined which were most important for a country to truly "prosper," ranking 142 countries in eight different categories. These categories included: Economy, Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Governance, Education, Health, Safety and Security, Personal Freedom, and Social Capitol. Once the top dogs were determined in each, an aggregate score popped out Norway as the country to rule all countries. Well, not like an empire, ya know. Just an awesome place.
But seriously, Norway ranked within the top 10 of every category. Switzerland, unsurprisingly, took the second spot, with high scores in both economy and governance (duh). Another nordic nation, Denmark, came in third, scoring in the top 10 of almost every category besides health, where it placed 16th. Not too shabby, really.
But where is the blessed US of A??? Unfortunately, Uncle Sam just missed the top 10. The US came in 11th in the overall ranking. Meanwhile, our polite cousin in the north, Canada, managed to come in 6th. Obviously some maple syrup changed hands giving Canada the edge, but whatever. America is still great. We've got cheeseburgers. And, well, like 70% of our country isn't tundra where nobody lives. Suck it, Canada.
Check out the top 10 and and see all the scores here.
4. New Zealand
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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and still thinks the fort she built as a kid was the best country in the world. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at @karatillie.