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What makes a country well run?

By September 13, 2018October 17th, 2023FinGlobal

What makes a country well run?

September 13, 2018


Expats are often attracted to countries that are well run, especially if their home country is fraught with governmental efficiencies and a failing infrastructure. To establish a benchmark for a well-run country, the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the World Bank’s Governance Index and the Social Progress Index rank countries based on their performance across a variety of categories. If you are looking to move to a well-run country – these countries rank the best in the world.

4 of the best-governed countries in the world


The Nordic countries are renowned for their efficiency and their excellent infrastructure and well-run state institutions – from healthcare to education. However Denmark pips them all at the post with near-perfect scores on the “Basic Human Needs” Index ranked in the 2017 Social Progress Index, which measures how well a country meets the nutritional and medical needs of all its citizens and provides them with access to basic knowledge and communication.

In Denmark, the general health and social system are highly progressive and available to everyone and as a student, you receive financial assistance and free language classes. The Danish society is strongly built on trust – and when you are too ill to work, it is fine to simply call in and let your employer know.

New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are very comparable across all the indexes, however New Zealand scores higher for overall political stability, fundamental rights and lack of violence and terrorism. New Zealand was the first nation in the world to give women the right to vote in 1893 and that liberal thinking is still alive and well today. New Zealand also has generous policies that support single parents, children, students and seniors. When you turn 65 in New Zealand, you automatically start receiving a generous government allowance – irrespective of your financial circumstances or when you became a permanent resident/citizen.


Canada and the United States rank highly across all indexes, but Canada beats the USA in the areas of political stability and the lack of violence/terrorism. Canada’s near-perfect scores are on a par with many of the Scandinavian countries, particularly in the areas of nutrition, medical care, access to basic knowledge and personal rights. Canada is also more progressive than the USA and actively supports its multicultural society showing compassion and acceptance of everyone’s life choices.


Japan ranks as the most well-run country in Asia by the World Bank, scoring first place for overall government effectiveness, rule of law and political stability. It also scored top marks in Asia when it came to the Social Progress Index, ranking first for its access to basic knowledge, water and sanitation as well as access to nutrition and medical care. Health insurance is universal in Japan and is removed from its citizens’ wages. Citizens can go to a doctor whenever they need to and costs are capped. In addition, Japanese schools rank well globally and they have prioritised nutrition with school lunches prepared from locally grown ingredients.


If you are a South African living abroad and you would like to know more about the process of financial emigration from South Africa, accessing your South African retirement annuity abroad or our range of financial emigration services, contact FinGlobal today.

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