Thrive Countries, 1st Issue
This is a mostly personally relevant list of 10 countries I thought I ought to travel to or live in at some point. However, it does contain a few good general insights and some interesting cross-referenced information from the Index of Economic Freedom and the Freedom on the Net report (links below). For example, you may be interested to know that Estonia is among the top 15 economically free countries in the world, but that it also tops the charts in press freedom and has the world’s greatest internet freedom.
I have included crosses (†) to indicate my own interest in the culture of countries listed where applicable, in addition to minuses (–) to show places that I am not interested in going to or spending that much time in (for now). For example, the United States is ranked 9th in Economic Freedom, extremely high in Press and Internet Freedom, but nonetheless it is my country of origin and therefore less interesting to visit than many of the others. For this reason it gets a minus. Note that I am also very interested in learning other languages and that I studied Spanish and Japanese for many years. Hence, Australia is less interesting, while Japan, Chile, Brazil, and others are more so.
Press Freedom I haven’t included but hope to in future editions of my list; This is something that is, of course, intimately connected with Internet Freedom and very important for every nation on Earth. It is another attribute that, for me, increases the gravity and draw of a place. If you are curious about Press Freedom as well right now, know that Freedom House publishes both reports: (PRESS FREEDOM) and (FREEDOM ON THE NET 2011).
This list is comprised of well-established, demonstrably-free societies that also happen to interest me personally. In later lists I hope to include information from the Human Development Index, Press Freedom statistics, and more.
Top 10 Thrive Countries for 2011
1. United States
2. Germany (†)
3. Hong Kong
4. Switzerland (†)
5. Estonia (†)
6. Japan (††)
8. Chile (††)
9. Brazil (††)