The Human Truth Foundation

Which are the Best Countries in Europe?

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

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#Europe

Social and Moral Index
The Best Countries
CountryScore
1Sweden88.9
2Iceland87.4
3Denmark87.2
4Finland86.2
5Norway86.1
6Netherlands83.0
7Austria81.7
8Switzerland81.2
9Germany81.1
10Belgium80.1
World Average57.0
Europe Average70.7
Data Source

Human rights, equality and the rule of law define Europe, and European countries thusly make up most of the top countries on the Social and Moral Index. In "Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice" by Jack Donnelly Europe is described as the leading practical example of the implementation of human rights, where they really are seen as intrinsic rights and not merely liberties1. The European Court of Human Rights is heavily over-subscribed and influential: it answers to the call of the citizens themselves, and only very rarely do governments ignore its rulings2.

There are 57 locations that fall within this category. By adding up all the known populations that fall within these locations, and summing their physical land areas, we can calculate population densities. Some islands and territories can end up being counted twice depending on how they are classified and divided up politically, but, mostly such errors involve only small populations. So, some data on this collection of countries in total:


1. Social and Moral Development Index and Basic Demographics

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).

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
3Higher
is better
Life
Expectancy
Higher
is better
Gross
National
Income PPHigher
is richer
UN's Human
Development
IndexHigher
is better
PopulationLand Areakm2People
Per km2Higher
is worse
1Sweden88.981.6yrs$36 1430.92 9 495 392 410 34023
2Iceland87.481.9yrs$29 1760.91 328 290 100 2503
3Denmark87.279.0yrs$33 5180.90 5 592 738 42 430132
4Finland86.280.1yrs$32 5100.89 5 402 627 303 89018
5Norway86.181.3yrs$48 6880.96 4 960 482 304 25016
6Netherlands83.080.8yrs$37 2820.92 16 714 228 33 730496
7Austria81.781.0yrs$36 4380.90 8 428 915 82 409102
8Switzerland81.282.5yrs$40 5270.91 7 733 709 40 000193
9Germany81.180.6yrs$35 4310.92 81 990 837 348 570235
10Belgium80.180.0yrs$33 4290.90 10 787 788 30 280356
11UK80.180.3yrs$32 5380.88 62 798 099 241 930260
12Andorra79.481.1yrs$33 9180.85 87 518 470186
13Luxembourg79.480.1yrs$48 2850.88 523 362 2 590202
14Ireland79.280.7yrs$28 6710.92 4 579 498 68 89066
15Liechtenstein76.679.8yrs$84 8800.88 36 584 160229
16Estonia76.275.0yrs$17 4020.85 1 339 762 42 39032
17France75.681.7yrs$30 2770.89 63 457 777 547 660116
18Spain74.981.6yrs$25 9470.88 46 771 596 498 80094
19Slovenia74.179.5yrs$23 9990.89 2 040 057 20 140101
20Czech Rep.73.477.8yrs$22 0670.87 10 565 678 77 240137
21Portugal72.179.7yrs$19 9070.82 10 699 333 91 470117
22Slovakia71.375.6yrs$19 6960.84 5 480 332 48 088114
23Italy69.982.0yrs$26 1580.88 60 964 145 294 140207
24Lithuania69.672.5yrs$16 8580.82 3 292 454 62 67453
25Latvia69.173.6yrs$14 7240.81 2 234 572 62 20036
26Malta67.179.8yrs$21 1840.85 419 212 3201310
27Hungary67.074.6yrs$16 0880.83 9 949 589 90 530110
28Cyprus66.779.8yrs$23 8250.85 1 129 166 9 240122
29Poland66.476.3yrs$17 7760.82 38 317 090 304 150126
30Croatia64.576.8yrs$15 4190.80 4 387 376 55 96078
31Albania64.577.1yrs$7 8220.75 3 227 373 27 400118
32Romania62.474.2yrs$11 0110.79 21 387 517 230 16093
33Bulgaria62.473.6yrs$11 4740.78 7 397 873 108 56068
34Serbia61.574.7yrs$9 5330.77 9 846 582 87 460113
35Greece61.580.0yrs$20 5110.86 11 418 878 128 90089
36Macedonia61.575.0yrs$9 3770.74 2 066 785 25 22082
37Montenegro61.174.8yrs$10 4710.79 632 796 13 45047
38Ukraine60.268.8yrs$6 4280.74 44 940 268 579 32078
39Belarus58.970.6yrs$13 3850.79 9 527 498 202 91047
40Bosnia & Herzegovina58.175.8yrs$7 7130.74 3 744 235 51 00073
41Georgia57.273.9yrs$5 0050.74 4 304 363 69 49062
42Armenia55.174.4yrs$5 5400.73 3 108 972 28 480109
43Turkey54.074.2yrs$13 7100.72 74 508 771 769 63097
44Azerbaijan53.970.9yrs$8 1530.73 9 421 233 82 658114
45Moldova52.869.6yrs$3 3190.66 3 519 266 32 854107
World Average57.070.0yrs$12 7030.67 25.74m 536 25448
Europe Average70.777.6yrs$23 2490.83 14.67m 130 702112
Data Source

Not showing due to lack of data: Aland Islands, The Channel Islands, The Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, The Isle of Man, Jersey, Kosovo, Monaco, San Marino, Svalbard and Vatican City. This page only shows places where the database has enough data to be able to come to reasonable conclusions about each place. The main focus is on nation states, but, some distinct external territories may be listed if the database has enough information about them. Averages are calculated from as many valid data points as possible, meaning, that some territories and locations that are not listed above may still be used to calculate some of the average values. Some calculations only use Independent State data - hover the cursor over values to see hints.

Links:

2. Human Rights and Moral Development

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
3Higher
is better
Gender
Inequality4Lower
is better
Human Rights
Treaties5Higher
is better
Press
Freedom6Higher
is better
LGBT
Equality
7Higher
is better
1Sweden88.90.052390.8255
2Iceland87.40.092091.5220
3Denmark87.20.062292.9225
4Finland86.20.081993.685
5Norway86.10.062093.5210
6Netherlands83.00.041993.5405
7Austria81.70.102290.645
8Switzerland81.20.061990.190
9Germany81.10.082389.8100
10Belgium80.10.102287.1350
11UK80.10.211983.1130
12Andorra79.41593.2210
13Luxembourg79.40.151993.3165
14Ireland79.20.121989.945
15Liechtenstein76.62092.735
16Estonia76.20.161790.725
17France75.60.082178.4195
18Spain74.90.102379.5245
19Slovenia74.10.082379.570
20Czech Rep.73.40.122089.880
21Portugal72.10.112083.2135
22Slovakia71.30.172086.835
23Italy69.90.092273.9115
24Lithuania69.60.161881.830
25Latvia69.10.221677.125
26Malta67.10.241876.725
27Hungary67.00.262073.935
28Cyprus66.70.132086.225
29Poland66.40.142086.9115
30Croatia64.50.182273.490
31Albania64.50.252069.130
32Romania62.40.332076.950
33Bulgaria62.40.222071.440
34Serbia61.52373.430
35Greece61.50.141971.545
36Macedonia61.50.162065.720
37Montenegro61.12167.030
38Ukraine60.20.342063.220
39Belarus58.91651.710
40Bosnia & Herzegovina58.12173.125
41Georgia57.20.442069.925
42Armenia55.10.341772.020
43Turkey54.00.371753.4100
44Azerbaijan53.90.322152.310
45Moldova52.80.301874.025
World Average57.00.3815.167.5-7
Europe Average70.70.1719.579.687

Europe has an excellent record on women's rights and gender equality. The biases of the male-dominated past have largely come to an end. The battle isn't over, but, there is nowhere else in the world where the spurious prejudices of human culture have been so diminished in the realm of gender.

There is indeed a broad consensus throughout Europe to ensure men and women can access contraception, safe abortion services and reproductive healthcare and information on sexuality. This is the basis upon which people can make free and fair choices about their family life and composition.

NSS (2015)8

3. Religion and Beliefs

#buddhism #christianity #hinduism #islam #judaism

Over the last 60 years, religion in Europe has seen a strong decline. On average throughout the 27 EU countries, only half of its people believe in God9 and 25.4% directly say that they have no religion10. There is much variation from country to country. Only 16% of the populace of Estonia believe in God and the Scandinavian countries are highly atheist. But 95% believe in Malta. Two main social groups are particularly prone to belief in God; those over 55 years old and those whose education did not proceed beyond the 15-year-old stage.9. For a discussion on secularisation in general, see: "Secularisation Theory: Will Modern Society Reject Religion? What is Secularism?" by Vexen Crabtree

Despite the low rate of belief in God, many Europeans still claim to belong to theistic religions. 49.5% of the population of Europe say they are Catholic Christian, 15.7% say they're Muslim, 12.7% say they're Protestant Christian, 8.6% say they're Orthodox Christian and 0.4% say they are Jewish10. These numbers mean that at least 30% of Europeans are putting down a religion despite not believing in the very basic first principal of the religion they put down. In some places, this percent is higher. In France only 52% of Catholic believe in God and "only 18 percent define God according to the teachings of the Catholic Church"11. This is all because most people in Europe confuse religion and cultural heritage, and for many the actual beliefs of a religion don't really matter. For a discussion of this, see: "Institutionalized Religions Have Their Numbers Inflated by National Polls" by Vexen Crabtree.

Disbelief
in God
(2004)12
Religiosity
(2009)13
Jews
(2010)14
Christians
(2010)14
Muslims
(2010)14
Hindus
(2010)14
Buddhists
(2010)14
Folk
Religion
(2010)14
Unaffiliated
(2010)14
Aland Islands
Albania8%39%0.1%18.0%80.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
Andorra0.3%89.5%0.8%0.5%0.1%0.1%8.8%
Armenia14%73%0.1%98.5%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.3%
Austria18%0.2%80.4%5.4%0.1%0.2%0.1%13.5%
Azerbaijan0%50%0.1%3.0%96.9%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Belarus17%34%0.1%71.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%28.6%
Belgium43%0.3%64.2%5.9%0.1%0.2%0.2%29.0%
Bosnia & Herzegovina77%0.1%52.3%45.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.5%
Bulgaria34%0.1%82.1%13.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%4.2%
Channel Islands0.1%85.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.2%
Croatia7%70%0.1%93.4%1.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%5.1%
Cyprus75%0.1%73.2%25.3%0.1%0.2%0.1%1.2%
Czech Rep.61%0.1%23.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%76.4%
Denmark48%19%0.1%83.5%4.1%0.4%0.2%0.1%11.8%
Estonia49%16%0.1%39.9%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%59.6%
Faroe Islands0.1%98.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.7%
Finland28%0.1%81.6%0.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%17.6%
France44%30%0.5%63.0%7.5%0.1%0.5%0.3%28.0%
Georgia4%81%0.1%88.5%10.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.7%
Germany42%40%0.3%68.7%5.8%0.1%0.3%0.1%24.7%
Gibraltar2.1%88.8%4.0%1.8%0.1%0.1%2.9%
Greece16%71%0.1%88.1%5.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%6.1%
Guernsey
Hungary32%39%0.1%81.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%18.6%
Iceland16%0.1%95.0%0.2%0.3%0.4%0.5%3.5%
Ireland5%54%0.1%92.0%1.1%0.2%0.2%0.2%6.2%
Isle of Man0.1%84.1%0.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%15.4%
Italy6%72%0.1%83.3%3.7%0.1%0.2%0.1%12.4%
Jersey
Kosovo90%0.1%11.4%87.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.6%
Latvia20%39%0.1%55.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%43.8%
Liechtenstein0.1%91.9%5.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.9%
Lithuania13%42%0.1%89.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%10.0%
Luxembourg39%0.1%70.4%2.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%26.8%
Macedonia76%0.1%59.3%39.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
Malta86%0.1%97.0%0.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%2.5%
Moldova6%72%0.6%97.4%0.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
Monaco1.7%86.0%0.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%11.7%
Montenegro71%0.1%78.1%18.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.2%
Netherlands42%0.2%50.6%6.0%0.5%0.2%0.2%42.1%
Norway31%0.1%84.7%3.7%0.5%0.6%0.1%10.1%
Poland3%75%0.1%94.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%5.6%
Portugal4%0.1%93.8%0.6%0.1%0.6%0.5%4.4%
Romania4%84%0.1%99.0%0.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
San Marino0.3%91.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%7.2%
Serbia54%0.1%92.5%4.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.3%
Slovakia17%0.1%85.3%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.3%
Slovenia35%47%0.1%78.4%3.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%18.0%
Spain15%49%0.1%78.6%2.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%19.0%
Svalbard
Sweden64%17%0.1%67.2%4.6%0.2%0.4%0.2%27.0%
Switzerland17%41%0.3%81.3%5.5%0.4%0.4%0.1%11.9%
Turkey82%0.1%0.4%98.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.2%
UK42%27%0.5%71.1%4.4%1.3%0.4%0.3%21.3%
Ukraine20%46%0.1%83.8%1.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.7%
Vatican City0.1%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
World Averages9.9%75.1%0.5%60.6%22.4%2.0%3.5%2.7%7.9%
Europe Averages23.6%55.2%0.2%74.7%11.5%0.2%0.2%0.1%13.2%
Data Source

Links:

More on religion in Europe:

4. The European Union (EU)15

Current edition: 2013 Nov 06
Last Modified: 2015 Mar 25
http://www.humantruth.info/europe.html
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

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.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 22.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

Gallup
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.

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.

Pew Forum. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
(2012) The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Published 2012 Dec 18, accessed online 2013 May 01.

United Nations
(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.

Wenzel, Nikolai G.
(2011) Postmodernism and Religion. This essay is chapter 9 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p172-193).

Footnotes

  1. Donnelly (2013) p67. Added to this page on 2014 Oct 07.^
  2. Donnelly (2013) p32. Added to this page on 2014 Oct 07.^
  3. The Social and Moral Index by Vexen Crabtree (As of 2017 Feb 22).^^
  4. United Nations Human Development Report (UN HDR) 2013. Table 4 (Gender Inequality Index).^
  5. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  6. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^
  7. LGBT sources:^
  8. National Secular Society (2015) article "Religious lobbying threatens European Parliament vote on gender equality" (2015 Mar 08).^
  9. "Eurobarometer 225: Social values, Science & Technology". Published by Eurostat (2005) for the European Commission. Accessed 2008 Sep 01.^
  10. National Secular Society newsletter (2007 Mar 02), which included commentary on a Eurostat (2007) publication.^
  11. Wenzel (2011) p185.^
  12. Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: contemporary numbers and patterns. In M.Martin (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" by Lynn et al. (2009).^
  13. Gallup (2009).^
  14. Pew Forum (2011) - data for 2010.^
  15. Added to this page on 2013 Nov 09.^

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