The Human Truth Foundation

Which are the Best Countries in Europe?

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

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#Europe

Social & Moral
Development Index
Higher is better

Points1
1Iceland84.1
2Sweden80.8
3Norway80.0
4Denmark79.4
5Belgium79.3
6Finland78.4
7Germany77.8
8Switzerland77.7
9Luxembourg77.7
10UK77.1
Europe Avg65.3
World Avg54.5
q=47.

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 liberties2. 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 rulings3.

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 concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. 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.

Social & Moral
Higher is better

Points1
Life
Expectancy (2015)
Higher is better

Years4
Gross National
Income (2011)
Higher is better
PPP $4
UN HDI (2016)
Lower is better

Rank5
Population (2012)6Land Area (2011)
km27
People
Per km2
Lower is better
1Iceland84.182.72$37 06590.3m 100 250 3
2Sweden80.882.35$46 251149.5m 410 340 23
3Norway80.081.71$67 61415.0m 304 250 16
4Denmark79.480.41$44 51955.6m 42 430 132
5Belgium79.380.98$41 2432210.8m 30 280 356
6Finland78.481.01$38 868235.4m 303 890 18
7Germany77.881.09$45 000482.0m 348 570 235
8Switzerland77.783.13$56 36427.7m 40 000 193
9Luxembourg77.781.88$62 471200.5m 2 590 202
10UK77.180.85$37 9311662.8m 241 930 260
11Netherlands76.781.71$46 326716.7m 33 730 496
12Ireland76.581.05$43 79884.6m 68 890 66
13Austria75.381.58$43 609248.4m 82 409 102
14France72.282.36$38 0852163.5m 547 660 116
15Spain71.082.77$32 7792746.8m 498 800 94
16Estonia70.777.01$26 362301.3m 42 390 32
17Portugal69.081.18$26 1044110.7m 91 470 117
18Italy68.783.34$33 5732661.0m 294 140 207
19Czech Rep.68.478.78$28 1442810.6m 77 240 137
20Slovenia66.980.58$28 664252.0m 20 140 101
21Latvia65.274.34$22 589442.2m 62 200 36
22Malta64.580.73$29 500330.4m 3201 310
23Hungary63.475.31$23 394439.9m 90 530 110
24Poland63.077.62$24 1173638.3m 304 150 126
25Lithuania62.973.50$26 006373.3m 62 674 53
26Slovakia62.776.41$26 764405.5m 48 088 114
27Cyprus62.180.33$29 459331.1m 9 240 122
28Greece60.681.07$24 8082911.4m 128 900 89
29Albania60.477.97$10 252753.2m 27 400 118
30Monaco60.235 444 217 722
31Andorra60.081.46$47 9793287 518 470 186
32Croatia59.677.50$20 291454.4m 55 960 78
33Liechtenstein59.380.16$75 0651536 584 160 229
34Romania58.974.84$19 4285021.4m 230 160 93
35Bulgaria56.674.32$16 261567.4m 108 560 68
36Serbia56.475.05$12 202669.8m 87 460 113
37Macedonia56.375.53$12 405822.1m 25 220 82
38Bosnia & Herzegovina55.776.63$10 091813.7m 51 000 73
39Turkey55.675.53$18 7057174.5m 769 630 97
40Georgia54.775.02$8 856704.3m 69 490 62
41Montenegro54.576.40$15 410480.6m 13 450 47
42Armenia54.574.89$8 189843.1m 28 480 109
43Azerbaijan54.070.90$16 413789.4m 82 658 114
44Ukraine52.771.13$7 3618444.9m 579 320 78
45Belarus52.771.46$15 629529.5m 202 910 47
46Moldova51.071.73$5 0261073.5m 32 854 107
47San Marino44.0$50 06331 945 60 532
Europe Avg65.378.36$30 45738.814.7m 130 702 112
World Avg54.571.27$17 24094.336.0m 620 450 58
q=47.

Not showing due to lack of data: 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

Social & Moral
Higher is better

Points1
Gender Inequality (2015)
Lower is better8
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)
Higher is better

Treaties9
Press Freedom (2013)
Lower is better
10
LGBT Equality (2013)
Higher is better

Score11
1Iceland84.10.0520849220
2Sweden80.80.0523923255
3Norway80.00.0520652210
4Denmark79.40.0422708225
5Belgium79.30.07221294350
6Finland78.40.061963885
7Germany77.80.07231024100
8Switzerland77.70.041999490
9Luxembourg77.70.0719668165
10UK77.10.13191689130
11Netherlands76.70.0419648405
12Ireland76.50.1319100645
13Austria75.30.082294045
14France72.20.10212160195
15Spain71.00.08232050245
16Estonia70.70.131792625
17Portugal69.00.09201675135
18Italy68.70.08222611115
19Czech Rep.68.40.1320101780
20Slovenia66.90.0523204970
21Latvia65.20.1916228925
22Malta64.50.2218233025
23Hungary63.40.2520260935
24Poland63.00.14201311115
25Lithuania62.90.1218182430
26Slovakia62.70.1820132535
27Cyprus62.10.1220138325
28Greece60.60.1219284645
29Albania60.40.2720308830
30Monaco60.216110
31Andorra60.015682210
32Croatia59.60.1422266190
33Liechtenstein59.32073535
34Romania58.90.3420230550
35Bulgaria56.60.2220285840
36Serbia56.40.1823265930
37Macedonia56.30.1620342720
38Bosnia & Herzegovina55.70.1621268625
39Turkey55.60.33174656100
40Georgia54.70.3620300925
41Montenegro54.50.1621329730
42Armenia54.50.2917280420
43Azerbaijan54.00.3321477310
44Ukraine52.70.2820367920
45Belarus52.70.1416483510
46Moldova51.00.2318260125
47San Marino44.01620
Europe Avg65.30.1519.5204487.1
World Avg54.50.3615.13249-07.3
q=47.

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)12

3. Religion and Beliefs

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 God13 and 25.4% directly say that they have no religion14. 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.13. 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 Jewish14. 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"15. 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.

Religiosity (2009)
Lower is better
%16
Disbelief In God (2007)
Higher is better17
Jews
(2010)18
Christians
(2010)18
Muslims
(2010)18
Hindus
(2010)18
Buddhists
(2010)18
Folk ReligionUnaffiliated
1Albania3980.1%18.0%80.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
2Andorra0.3%89.5%0.8%0.5%0.1%0.1%8.8%
3Armenia73140.1%98.5%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.3%
4Austria180.2%80.4%5.4%0.1%0.2%0.1%13.5%
5Azerbaijan5000.1%3.0%96.9%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
6Belarus34170.1%71.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%28.6%
7Belgium430.3%64.2%5.9%0.1%0.2%0.2%29.0%
8Bosnia & Herzegovina770.1%52.3%45.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.5%
9Bulgaria340.1%82.1%13.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%4.2%
10Croatia7070.1%93.4%1.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%5.1%
11Cyprus750.1%73.2%25.3%0.1%0.2%0.1%1.2%
12Czech Rep.610.1%23.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%76.4%
13Denmark19480.1%83.5%4.1%0.4%0.2%0.1%11.8%
14Estonia16490.1%39.9%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%59.6%
15Finland280.1%81.6%0.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%17.6%
16France30440.5%63.0%7.5%0.1%0.5%0.3%28.0%
17Georgia8140.1%88.5%10.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.7%
18Germany40420.3%68.7%5.8%0.1%0.3%0.1%24.7%
19Greece71160.1%88.1%5.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%6.1%
20Hungary39320.1%81.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%18.6%
21Iceland160.1%95.0%0.2%0.3%0.4%0.5%3.5%
22Ireland5450.1%92.0%1.1%0.2%0.2%0.2%6.2%
23Italy7260.1%83.3%3.7%0.1%0.2%0.1%12.4%
24Latvia39200.1%55.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%43.8%
25Liechtenstein0.1%91.9%5.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.9%
26Lithuania42130.1%89.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%10.0%
27Luxembourg390.1%70.4%2.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%26.8%
28Macedonia760.1%59.3%39.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
29Malta860.1%97.0%0.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%2.5%
30Moldova7260.6%97.4%0.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.4%
31Monaco1.7%86.0%0.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%11.7%
32Montenegro710.1%78.1%18.7%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.2%
33Netherlands420.2%50.6%6.0%0.5%0.2%0.2%42.1%
34Norway310.1%84.7%3.7%0.5%0.6%0.1%10.1%
35Poland7530.1%94.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%5.6%
36Portugal40.1%93.8%0.6%0.1%0.6%0.5%4.4%
37Romania8440.1%99.0%0.3%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
38San Marino0.3%91.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%7.2%
39Serbia540.1%92.5%4.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.3%
40Slovakia170.1%85.3%0.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.3%
41Slovenia47350.1%78.4%3.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%18.0%
42Spain49150.1%78.6%2.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%19.0%
43Sweden17640.1%67.2%4.6%0.2%0.4%0.2%27.0%
44Switzerland41170.3%81.3%5.5%0.4%0.4%0.1%11.9%
45Turkey820.1%0.4%98.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.2%
46Ukraine46200.1%83.8%1.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.7%
47UK27420.5%71.1%4.4%1.3%0.4%0.3%21.3%
48Vatican City0.1%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
49Guernsey-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%
50Isle of Man0.1%84.1%0.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%15.4%
51Jersey-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%
52Gibraltar2.1%88.8%4.0%1.8%0.1%0.1%2.9%
53Faroe Islands0.1%98.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.7%
54Aland Islands-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%
55Svalbard-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%-1.0%
56Kosovo900.1%11.4%87.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.6%
57Channel Islands0.1%85.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%14.2%
Europe Avg55.223.60.2%74.7%11.5%0.2%0.2%0.1%13.2%
World Avg75.19.90.5%60.6%22.4%2.0%3.5%2.7%7.9%
q=57.

Links:

More on religion in Europe:

4. The European Union (EU)19

Current edition: 2013 Nov 06
Last Modified: 2017 Mar 22
http://www.humantruth.info/europe.html
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#christianity #estonia #Europe #france #islam #judaism #malta #religion

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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 Jun 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.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Analysis conducted by the UN Development Report Office. Available on hdr.undp.org/..

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. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)^^^
  2. Donnelly (2013) p67. Added to this page on 2014 Oct 07.^
  3. Donnelly (2013) p32. Added to this page on 2014 Oct 07.^
  4. UN (2017) Table 1. Higher is better.^
  5. UN (2017) Table 1. Lower is better.^
  6. UN (2013) Table 14.^
  7. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  8. UN (2017) Table 5. Lower is better.^
  9. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  10. 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.^
  11. Higher is better. Sources:^
  12. National Secular Society (2015) article "Religious lobbying threatens European Parliament vote on gender equality" (2015 Mar 08).^
  13. "Eurobarometer 225: Social values, Science & Technology". Published by Eurostat (2005) for the European Commission. Accessed 2008 Sep 01.^
  14. National Secular Society newsletter (2007 Mar 02), which included commentary on a Eurostat (2007) publication.^
  15. Wenzel (2011) p185.^
  16. Gallup (2009) .^
  17. 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).^
  18. Pew Forum (2011) - data for 2010.^
  19. Added to this page on 2013 Nov 09.^

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