A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries by Jane's Information Services resulted in a list of the most (and least) stable and prosperous countries. Times Online published an article which got commented upon quite a bit. Some said it took a ride with Jane's the original report.
Here is a summary of the Times Online article:
The scoring is based on the sort of threats existing in the country, the economic pressures, each nation’s political structures, social and economic trends, military and security risks and external relations. (Full)
Here is the Top 10 (in order): Vatican, Sweden, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein, UK, Netherlands, Ireland.
Rank 11-20: New Zealand, Denmark, Austria, Andorra, Germany, Iceland, Switzerland, Portugal, Australia, Norway.
Rank 21-30: Malta, France, Canada, USA, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Japan, Finland, Czech Rep.
Rank 31-40: Samoa, Falkland Islands, Singapore, Guam, Slovakia, Anguilla, Cyprus, Qatar, Montserrat, Costa Rica.
Rank 41-50: Greece, St Pierre and Miquelon, UAE, Cayman Islands, American Samoa, Virgin Islands (UK), Poland, St Lucia, Oman, Northern Mariana Islands.
At the bottom we find as the most unstable (score between brackets): Iraq (44), Central African Republic (39), Democratic Republic of Congo (38), Chad (38), Zimbabwe (38), Haiti (38), Ivory Coast (36), Afghanistan (36), Sudan (35), Somalia (29) and Palestinian Territories (27).
- According to this list, we should all become a priest and migrate to the Vatican.
- all jokes aside: there are only three Middle-Eastern and two Asian countries in the top 50.
- 7 out of the 10 bottom countries are in Africa. There are no African countries in the top 50. No South American countries either.
- Hmm... I lived and worked in six out of the eleven bottom countries.
- Montserrat?!?! With all its 5,000 people, most of them evacuated.. Could not be the same Montserrat we wanted to sail to this summer, but did not after the charter company strongly recommended to stay away because of the active volcano... Safe, hey?
The original article I referred to above, has been removed from Times Online. It can still be found through their on-site search, but that gives an invalid link.
Either the article was too loose in interpreting Jane's report (of which I could not find an original - if anyone has it, put it in the comments), or ... too many people complained "THEIR" country had to be the most stable and prosperous.. Or maybe the US government filed an official complaint: After all, no country can be more stable and prosperous than the US. Certainly not after the investments in the economy and expenses for Homeland Security under the Bush administration. Right? Right?
Update: Apparently Times Online got the links back up.