Best and Worst Countries: The Brightwork Country Ranking of the World and Civilization Score

Executive Summary

  • Our ranking scores how civilized a country is, and therefore how likely it is that people from countries with a score of 1 or 2 can spend extended amounts of time there.


When planning travel, it can be easy to get caught up in the exciting things to see, rather than matching the country to one’s own standards. For travelers from countries with a Western European standard of living, it can be not easy to adjust to long-term stays or living in other less civilized countries. For this reason, we created this best and worst country ranking.

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

Examples of Issues in Countries With Lower Levels of Civilization

Countries in Latin America are very likely to give visitors from countries with a Western European standard of living water or food poisoning.

Arab countries normally have zero protections for freedom of speech and treat all visitors as exploitable by their elites. Many people will travel to these countries without considering the lack of protection until they run into a problem.

Even countries that we have scoring a 2, like Portugal or Spain, still have significant corruption levels and generally poor customer service.

See the following quotation of the experience of living in Portugal.

I have so many stories of delays for even the most basic things…. i just do not understand it… i can tolerate everything else mentioned in this list, but this extremely strong, frog in the well, if it does not affect me then it does not bother me attitude is simply incomprehensible….. it is not lack of money or lack of locations or lack of talent, it is simply this insouciant attitude of not bothering to do the work in front of you or thinking that it is some one else’s problem to solve and not yours. – Comment from Roland on a the Portugalist

While reading about living in Turkey, we found enormous problems with landlords, unpaid wages, no way of getting to a reasonable resolution on conflicts, and many other concerning factors.

Short Term Versus Long Term Stays

For short-term stays, one can isolate themselves from the overall society through tours and staying in upper-end hotels. However, the longer one stays, the more the actual standards of the society will become revealed.

This is where this global civilization ranking map might be able to help.

Our Rankings

Our rankings are for what we considered degrees of civilization. You can hover over each country and view our score. One is the most civilized, and eleven is the least. 

The Scoring

Our scoring looks like the following:

Country Civilization Scoring

This is the scoring and their relative levels.
Country StandardLiterate Culture?Fatalistic?Score and Country Class
Western EuropeYesNo1
Eastern or Southern EuropeYesNo2
North AsiaYesSemi3
Southeast AsiaSemiYes5
Pacific IslandNoSemi6
Latin American and CarribeanNoYes8
African Country + > 20% of Pop. = IslamicNoYes11

This categorizes countries by most civilized, being represented by a Western European standard, to the least civilized being Africa and African countries with over 20% of their population as Muslim.

What Are the Rankings Based Upon?

The rankings are based upon the overall civilization of the country. This would include things like its freedom in the society, protection for freedom of speech, the independence of women, lack of police persecution, a reasonable justice system, protection of worker’s rights, animal rights, physical and computer infrastructure, etc. The opposite end of the rankings is weak in all of these things. For example, in the Muslim world and India, and many places in southeast Asia, slavery is still practiced. The Gulf countries trade domestic slaves right online, and no one thinks it is odd or potentially wrong. It is impossible to ever be a high ranking country and also be strongly Muslim, as Islam opposes the criteria in our list.

People appear to intuitively know what the top-rated countries should be, as there is the strongest competition to immigrate to these countries. Anyone from a Class 1 or Class 2 country that finds this list offensive, can put their money where their mouth is, and move for a few years to a Class 8 and Class 9 country.

Details on the Scoring

The countries do not have an exact score based upon their regional position. Various factors can push a country’s score up or down.

See the following examples.

Item #1: France as More of an Eastern European Country

France is in Western Europe. However, because its population is now 9% Muslim, and this population is extremely vocal, France can no longer a full Western European country. This has been one of the worst impacts of Islam on any country, with the relatively small Muslim population expecting and receiving enormous adjustments from a liberal society to Islam.

Every country that is Muslim scores very poorly in all of our civilization criteria, and as countries become more Muslim, they decrease the scores of those countries.

In addition to the increase in Islam, France has seen its corruption greatly increase over the past several decades, and it is now the largest population of Africans living in the country of any country in Europe.

European Countries With the Highest African Populations

Source: Wikipedia
CountryAfrican PopulationYear of Estimate
France5.5 Million2012

Item #2: The Decline of the US from a Class 1 to a Class 2 Country

Due to immigration, the US’s social health scores have all dropped. The US population is now shorter, scores worse in educational attainment, and higher in infant mortality relative to other countries than it did just twenty years ago.

The US has large numbers of Latin Americans and many illegal Latin Americans in the country and of the 2020 Census, it will probably be around 1/2 white. The average age of a Latin American in the US, is 11, while the average white is 59, so the future of the US is easy to forecast as to continue to decline in its standing in all of the national health statistics. The percentage of the population that is literate in English is dropping as is conversational English as large numbers of immigrants and even immigrants from previous generations keep the language from their home country, and only speak English when they have to, and at a low level. Many Americans now bristle at being told to speak English and consider it a sign of racism. The fact that Europeans that immigrated in years past were all required to speak English, is entirely unknown to this generation of immigrants.

The US is dropped out of being a Class 1 country, and to the level of an Eastern or Southern European country. What this means is that parts of the US are still Class 1, but other parts are closer to a Class 5. As an example, northern San Diego would be classified as a Class 1 “region,” but roughly from the Mexican border 25 miles north, excluding downtown San Diego is more of a Class 5 “region.” Yet the regions are right next to each other.

Something that white Americans won’t admit, is that a major part of living in the US is staying away from racially diverse areas, and the country is more sectioned off than at any time in the modern era. Some US areas seem more like Mexico than the US. The infrastructure and standards of cleanliness in those diverse areas is normally not at a Class 1 level, and the overall infrastructure of the US is far less than it was in terms of both state of repair and capacity, as airports (pre coronavirus) and roads are habitually clogged with people. The US once had the best infrastructure and the best ratio of people to infrastructure in the world. However, that infrastructure became a target for people to engorge.

The cities that have become predominantly black, like Detroit, the middle loop of Chicago, Memphis, East St Louis, Baltimore, etc. are violent crime havens and end up under some type of Federal assistance. They receive essentially no tourism, with the populations trying to exit these defunct cities to relocate to non-black cities. Black behavior is so poor (on average) that it can trigger extensive white flight at roughly 10% of the population.

Item #3: The Decline of England and Sweden from a Class 1 to a Class 2 Countries

England and Sweden have received so much immigration from Pakistan, North Africa, and Eastern Europe that we dropped it from 1 to 2. England and Sweden cannot maintain a class 1 status with extensive immigration from Class 7 and Class 8 countries.

Sweden hides sex and other violent crimes by Muslim immigrants and shuts down the freedom of speech of domestic Swedes in order to accommodate primarily Muslim immigrants. Swedish women have been found to not report rapes by Muslims and to even cover up Muslim grooming gangs so as not to reinforce “Islamic stereotypes.”

Something happened to Swedes in that they became so liberal that they lost their will to live, and in the future, its is easy to see the Muslim recent on the flag of Sweden.

How long until the Swedish flag has an Islamic crescent on it? A crescent would go a long way to making the Islamic immigrants feel more “at home,” and would also help combat “Islamophobia.” The domestic Swedish population is so PC and sensitive, they might just agree to do it. Allahuaaaaaaaa Akbar!

Hijabs and Burka help differentiate the whores (the uncovered women) from the clean women (the covered and chaste) and as in the UK and France, Muslims in Sweden set up Muslim courts where they apply the Sharia to the Muslim population, in violation of Swedish laws.

Item #4: The Decline of Canada from a Class 1 to a Class 2 Country

Canada is receiving so much immigration from India and other locations that we considered that we had considered stating that it would be declining soon to a Class 2. However, then we got this feedback after sending this article to a Canadian.

Canada easily declined to #4
We not doing so great! 🙂
Real Canadians are gone from cities – all hidden in the trees and large lands, away from the civilization 🙂

Dropping Canada to a Class 4 country would be too low, however, the commenter’s point is noted.

This fall for Canada has been dramatic. Canada always has had higher standards of cleanliness, a better social safety net, more regulation of business, and a better sense of community than its humongous southern neighbor. But all of this has rapidly changed. Canada has so much Indian immigration into their job market, and so much discrimination practiced by Indians against the domestic population, that several major areas of employment are becoming undesirable for the domestic population to find employment.

Item #5: Caribbean Islands as Somewhere Between African Countries or US and European Countries

The Caribbean Islands are so African in the populations that we were going to give them an 8, but they are mixtures of some influence from the US, and in some other cases European countries.

The Caribbean island populations all aggressively fought for self-determination, however, after many decades as independent entities with the political apparatus run by the Caribbean blacks, the primary economic opportunity for Caribbeans is to immigrate to the US.

Item #6: What About North Korea?

North Korea is a poor country and has many similarities with China but without its economic might. North Korea has roughly a similar population to South Korea but is under a cultish fascist system where there are literally no rights, except for those in the political upper echelon. We were not sure where to place North Korea as it is an anomaly, but we did not worry too much about its score, as virtually no one travels there or should travel there in any case. We dropped it from a Class 3 country to a class 8 country.

Item #7: Russia as a Class 4 Country

Russia is technically in Eastern Europe. However, Russia is so primitive and dysfunctional and has so many problems that it performs below Japan and South Korea. However, it is culturally more sophisticated than any North Asian country.

Some of Russia’s modern-day problems are due to the “consulting” that US elites offered the Soviet Union instructing them to privatize public resources, creating the present-day oligarchs. However, Russia has a long history of dysfunction before this. And every country that was taken by Russia after WW2 suffered very badly and most have yet to recover. Russia has very little to offer other countries in terms of thinking and ways of doing things, and the Soviet era in Eastern Europe was marked by repression and stagnation. Any country that is influenced or controlled by Russia has major problems, and to see our view of this topic, see the article How The Soviet Union and Modern Day Russia Have Degraded Every Country they Have Influenced or Controlled.

Russia has also produced significantly fewer Noble Prizes than Eastern Europe.

Russia has many things to see, and St Petersburg is an excellent destination. However, it is rare to hear people talk about visiting Russia.

Another thing that has dropped Russia is it is also suffering large amounts of immigration from low scoring countries and Muslims like Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Item #8: Islam and Africa

Africa is a continent, but when the term “Africa” is used, it is normally used to apply to sub-Saharan Africa. And sub-Saharan Africa has many countries that are Muslim. African countries are of so little interest to the outside world and are known for so little that Africa is sometimes called a country. This table shows the percentages of most Muslim countries.

Item #9: Ranking China

China is a very powerful country and has a fast-growing economy. However, it is extremely culturally unsophisticated and it remains to be seen how long China can continue its rise as it is a dictatorship and the people who live there have few rights. China is also an environmental catastrophe in action, as China has modernized amazingly quickly, but without labor rights or environmental regulations. 

The Most Muslim Countries in the World

Source: Wikipedia
CountryTotal PopulationMuslim PopulationPercentage Muslim
Western Sahara603,253599,63399.4
Saudi Arabia34,220,00033,535,00098.2
Cocos (Keeling) Islands596< 1,00080
Sierra Leone7,719,7296,067,70678.6
United Arab Emirates9,541,6157,251,62776
Burkina Faso19,742,71512,141,76961.5
Bosnia and Herzegovina3,849,8911,955,08450.7
Ivory Coast26,260,58211,265,78942.9
North Macedonia2,118,945705,60833.3
South Sudan12,323,4192,464,68320
Central African Republic5,745,062861,75915

If a country is both in sub-Saharan Africa and Muslim, then it receives our lowest score.

However, Islam does not have the same impact everywhere.

  1. We did not drop Malaysia or Indonesia out of their regional score, as Islam, while still bad in both of these countries, does not have the same degree of negative impact in Malaysia and Indonesia as it does in sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, Malaysia would generally score higher than the Philippines in infrastructure, even though the Philippines is Christian and Malaysia is mostly Muslim.
  2. On the other hand, we dropped Brunei all the way from Class 3 to Class 7 because Brunei is an Islamic state and dictatorship with close to no freedom under the Sultan of Brunei.

Observation #1: Class 1 Countries Have Cold Climates?

Something that is dramatically clear from reading the map is that all of the Class 1 countries are in cold climates and in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia and New Zealand are at a similar latitude but in the Southern Hemisphere. Although see the section on Russia to see how it breaks this pattern.

That means to travel for perfect weather is restricted to only around 1/3rd of the year.

If you already live in a Class 1 country that is not Australia or New Zealand, so in the Southern Hemisphere, this means you have to give up the good weather in your own country to get that same good weather in another Class 1 country. It would seem that spending the Northern Hemisphere winter in Australia or New Zealand would be ideal for those with the ability.

Observation #2: Class 2 Countries

Class 2 countries offer smooth travel for people from Class 1 and Class 2 countries.

The US and Canada offer an enormous land area and many varied places to see, but along with other Class 2 countries like France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden, they are also expensive.

  • Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece (and the associated islands) offer the weather and lower costs than the aforementioned countries.
  • Then there is Eastern Europe, which also has even lower costs than Southern Europe, but due to cold weather offers a restricted travel time for optimal weather.

Observation #3: Southeast Asia as a Continual Travel Opportunity for Those from the Northern Hemisphere

A second excellent option in Southeast Asia for Northern Hemisphere winters. We have Southeast Asia scored as class 3 countries. However, it is warm year-round, although it does have an unappealing rainy season, which differs per country. As well as a smokey season in some places (where mass vegetation burning occurs such as in Thailand).

Southeast Asia has one of the lowest levels of crime, particularly considered the low-cost basis of the area although the trade-off is humidity.

Observation #4: The Misleading Landmasses of Class 1 Countries

Australia, and Norway, and Finland are all large landmasses. However, only around 11 million people live in Norway and Finland combined. This is less than live in a single state, like Ohio in the US. Therefore, when these countries score well in various international metrics, this is only a small number of people that benefit from their ranking.

Australia, which is a continent, only has roughly 25 million people.

Due to the large differential in population versus landmass, the vast majority of the population lives in a small segment of the countries.

  1. Most of Scandinavia’s population is in the south of the country close to the sea.
  2. Australia is so limited in water availability, that most of the country can not support any sizable population. Most of the interior of Australia is empty, with the major cities being along the coast. The largest city in central Australia is Alice Springs, with a population of 25,000 and Australia has only a two-lane road connecting Adelaide, which is on the Mid South coast of the country to Perth on the Western coast of the country. This road is very lightly traveled. And most Australians have never even been to Perth.

Observation #5: The Small Populations of Class 1 Countries

One can see just the Class 1 countries are in a distinct minority.

Once the countries’ landmasses are adjusted, one can see that there are very few countries, particularly by the habitable area, that fit into the class 1 countries. Overall, we have only 18 countries as Class 1 countries, and most of them are small in population.

These 18 countries combine for a population of only 180 million (with Germany being 46% of this total).

That statement by itself is somewhat amazing, that Germany by itself represents such a large percentage of the population of the most desirable countries. However, Germany is the recipient of constant flows of refugees, mostly driven by its general welfare policies — with immigrants passing through Italy and Greece to get to Germany’s welfare system. With the high reproductive rate of immigrants and the continual flow of Muslim immigrants, there is a question of how much longer Germany will retain its Class 1 status.

With roughly 7.8 billion people on the planet in 2020, this means that roughly 2.3% of the world’s population lives in Class 1 countries.


  • Large scale immigration from low ranked countries is degrading the quality of life in the top-ranked countries. The populations in these countries are primarily adjusting to this degradation by moving away from diverse areas. This cannot continue forever.
  • Our view is that people from class 1 countries can travel to class 1 or class 2 with minimal adjustment. However, beyond this, the adjustment is major.
  • This analysis also shows that only a small percentage of the world’s population live in the most desirable countries. And the great masses live in very poorly rated countries.
  • Many lower-scoring countries can be traveled to, but are riskier the longer one stays.