Compiled by SolAbility, a Swiss-Korean sustainable management consultancy, the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI) measured the current and future capabilities of countries to generate and sustain income and wealth for their populations. The assessments were based on information from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and UN databases.
Europe led the way with only three non-European nations making the top 20 (Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea). And the ranking was designed to show that GDP isn't always a effective indicator of wealth; some of the oil-rich countries in the Middle East performed more poorly than their GDP might suggest, and the USA was ranked 32nd with low scores in resource intensity and social capital.
Each country was ranked on five areas: natural capital, social capital, resource management, intellectual capital, and governance efficiency.
The two categories where Sweden performed best were intellectual capital (education, innovation, and industry), where it was outdone only by South Korea, and natural capital (the availability and depletion of natural resources) where it was ranked fifth, after Laos, Guyana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon.
It also made the top ten when it came to resource efficiency and intensity, for which it was ranked ninth, and came 11th in social capital, which looked at health, security, equality, and life satisfaction.
The only category in which Sweden did not score in the top 20 was governance efficiency, which included infrastructure, market and employment structure, financial industry, and for which Sweden was ranked 37th,