Map Ranks Nearly Every Country On Their Best, Or Worst, Attributes


America: Land of the free, home of the spam email. But hey, it's a big improvement over having the most serial killers, right? Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

A continually updated infographic ranks nearly every country in the world based on their best – or worst – characteristics. So, sit back, grab your national flag, and get ready to gloat (or run and hide in embarrassment). 

The data was compiled by the data visualization company Information is Beautiful using outside sources such as major news publications, international government agencies, and third-party watchdogs. The map ranks countries by their commodities, psychological tendencies, ecological benefits, cuisine, niceness, human characteristics, wealth and economic power, technological savviness, and human rights.


The original version of the visualization first appeared in the book Information is Beautiful in 2009. Since then, the makers have continued to update it with information and data sent in by viewers as recently as last year.

Some countries are giving us some serious benefits-envy. Take Bulgaria, who ranks highest for maternity leave, clocking in at a whopping 410 days for new mothers, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Pop a few countries over to Austria and you’ll be sitting pretty with the most entitled paid days off by law, with a legal minimum of 22 paid vacation days and 13 paid holidays each year. To put that into context, the average privately employed American gets 16 paid vacation days and holidays per year. But it’s all relative when it comes to happiness, and that’s where Colombia comes in. According to the BBC, the country has more festivals than it does days in the year, so it comes as no surprise that an annual poll ranks it one of the happiest countries in the world.

The data provides great insight into those planning an upcoming vacation. If you’re looking for the best Wifi signal, be sure to book a ticket to Lithuania. Luxembourg may be the safest country, but if it’s good food you’re after then pop over to Iran, who has the highest production of caviar, or, better yet, Ukraine with the most drive-through KFCs. If you’re single and ready to mingle, Latvia might be your best bet as they have the highest women-to-men ratio in the world. Alternatively, you could go find yourself a billionaire in the UK. 

Of course, we have to point out a few of the weirdest rankings because we know you all worked hard to get where you are today. Canada, bravo on opening up the most doughnut shops per capita. That is certainly no easy feat. Kudos to Nigeria, home to more top-200 Scrabble players than anywhere else, and a special shout-out to all the pizza-lovers in Norway who put the Scandinavian country at the top of the list for eating pie.


It also brings to light places in the world where human rights work should take precedence. Eritrea has the highest incidence of child labor. Here, children are not only required to work for two months during the school break, but there are no laws in place to protect them. Ethiopia has the highest percentage of underweight children under the age of five, while Haiti has the most number of cholera cases. Meanwhile, Turkey ranks highest for Twitter censorship and the most jailed journalists.

If your country isn’t on the image, it’s because the makers either couldn’t fit it in or they couldn’t find something your country is the best (or worst) at.

Check out the full set of data here.

Information is Beautiful / David McCandless


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