Trinidad and Tobago is among the top 25 countries in the world contributing to global prosperity and equality, according to a new study. The island nation placed 21st in this category of The Good Country Index, an analysis that aims to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity and what it takes away, relative to its size.
Trinidad and Tobago’s high ranking is bolstered by its high foreign direct investment outflows. The $725.9 million USD that left the nation in investments in 2014 represented 2.8 percent of GDP, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. This was actually a drop from $824.4 USD in 2013, but it remains a notable percentage despite the outflow dip and GDP rising from $27.3 billion USD to $28.1 billion USD between 2013 and 2014.
The organization’s prosperity and equality metric weighs several factors, all of which are measured relative to the size of the nation’s economy. These include foreign direct investment outflow, open trading across borders, Fairtrade market size, development contributions sent abroad, and the number of aid workers and volunteers sent overseas. Trinidad and Tobago also benefited from having a large number of United Nations workers abroad.
Unfortunately, the country didn’t fare as well in some other areas of the study. It ranked just 91st overall in The Good Country Index, in which Sweden took first place followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Trinidad and Tobago was particularly hurt by its low level of contribution to the index’s “health and well being” category, where it ranked 152nd out of 162 countries. This measure included data surrounding pharmaceutical exports, humanitarian aid, and donations to the World Health Organization, areas in which Trinidad and Tobago stacks up poorly.
While the results are weighted so that the size of the nation doesn’t affect its standing, the study author Simon Anholt does caution that the results can be skewed. “It should be noted, however, that there is an inherent volatility in the rankings of smaller countries, which is unavoidable,” said Anholt.”Since the absolute numbers are very small, quite small changes in such countries can cause significant changes in their rankings.”
Ultimately, Anholt hopes his study can alter people’s perspectives when it comes to viewing how countries contribute to the greater world. While GDP statistics and other business factors are the statistics typically cited, his Good Country Index aims to highlight all the other factors that help make places like Trinidad and Tobago a good global citizen.