How to rank countries in a snap

Douglas Muir, from A Fistful of Euros, comments on country indexes (transparency, governance, freedom, etc.)countries.  As they say, perhaps it’s funny because it’s true!

Everyone must move to Finland right now

“What’s interesting is how almost all of these indexes, good and crappy alike, follow the same general pattern: First World countries filling up the top ranks, former colonies — especially in Africa — at the bottom. I bet you could generate a very plausible looking index with just a handful of simple rules. Negative numbers are depressing, so everybody starts with 20 points:

+10 If you are in Europe
+6 If you are in North (not Central) America
-10 If you are in Africa
-3 if you touch the Equator
+3 if you are largely north or south of 45 degrees latitude
+1 more if you are entirely so
+1 if you are a small (<100,000 square km) country
+1 more if you are tiny (<5,000 square km)
-5 if you are landlocked
+2 if your country existed 50 years ago
+5 if you are a former colony populated mostly by people of European descent
-1 if you’re mostly Muslim