By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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Kingdom of Belgium
|Social and Moral Index||14th best|
|Land Area||30 280 km21|
|Population||10.79 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||80.98yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$41 243 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||BE, BEL, 565|
“Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (2015)11|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
Belgium's population is predicted to rise to 11.24 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.83.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|Gender Inequality (2015)12|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
|Disbelief In God|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below13:
By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 70.4% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (43%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%14.
In the second half of the 19th century Belgium began a period of secularism: the state endeavoured to create an atmosphere in which all citizens were treated equally no matter what religion they had (if any). "The radical liberals were able to implement a secularist policy with the help of an emerging socialist party. By law, they reduced the impact of the church in charitable work, in poor relief, and in allocating study grants. The cemeteries were laicized, and ultimately the state schools"15. This was possible because Belgium had embraced many early forms of human rights despite the embittered opposition of Catholic Christian organisations.
|Internet Users in Population|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)16|
(World Position, 2013-2016)18
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)19|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|20||Bosnia & Herzegovina||21|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)11|
|90||Sao Tome & Principe||57.3|
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Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Mar 24.
(2011) The Meaning and Scope of Secularization. This essay is chapter 33 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p599-615).
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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