Friday 20 April 2018

Mapped: The world’s most sociable countries - where does Ireland rank?

Legatum Prosperity Index

Friends overseas. Photo: Deposit
Friends overseas. Photo: Deposit

Gavin Haines

Meeting new people is one of the most enjoyable parts of travel... but which countries rank as most sociable?

Of course one of the joys of travelling – indeed one of the reasons why we feel compelled to travel in the first place – is to meet new people.

These relationships may be as fleeting as a monsoon shower, or they may last a lifetime; either way they can leave an indelible mark on your trip.

But some countries are more sociable than others.

At least that’s according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, which, as part of its annual stocktake of global prosperity, has given a “social capital” score to the world’s nations, ranking them out of 100 in categories such as strength of personal relationships, civic participation and social network support.

The index claims Australasia is the most sociable corner of the globe with New Zealand topping the table, followed by Australia.

Canada, on the other side of the world, was ranked third.

The 10 most sociable countries

  1. New Zealand - 68.95 (out of 100)
  2. Australia - 67.60
  3. Canada - 66.23
  4. United States - 65.45
  5. Iceland - 65.34
  6. Norway - 65.06
  7. Denmark - 64.49
  8. Malta - 63.77
  9. Germany - 63.21
  10. Ireland - 63.09

The UK just missed out on a top 10 place; it came 12th, sandwiched between Finland and the Netherlands, which were ranked 11th and 13th respectively.

The foot of the table featured troubled nations such as Burundi and Yemen, but it also included more popular destinations such as Morocco and China. 

Not all countries were included in the rankings: the Legatum Prosperity Index did not give scores to a handful of nations including Bosnia, Myanmar and secretive North Korea.

The 10 least sociable countries

  1. Burundi - 35 (out of 100)
  2. Yemen - 35.82
  3. Benin - 36
  4. Togo - 39.43
  5. Afghanistan - 39.71
  6. Morocco - 39.76
  7. Central African Republic - 40.71
  8. Angola - 41.10
  9. Armenia - 41.51
  10. China - 41.55

Now in its tenth year, the Legatum Prosperity Index was founded as a more enlightened alternative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which has traditionally been used as the yardstick for measuring prosperity.

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