Countries and States with Outstanding Ratings

Here are the Countries and US States with the best and worst  SweetScore ratings on corruption free government and protection of human rights and the environment.

When you buy from companies headquartered in Countries and States with high SweetScore ratings or buy products made in Countries and States with high SweetScore ratings, you create a financial incentive for positive change.   You reward Countries and States already showing leadership on environmental protection and human rights and encourage other Countries and States to up their game.

Ratings shown are as of 22 October 2019.


Countries with Outstanding Ratings

These Countries excel in the protection of freedom of speech, fundamental human rights and the environment. Countries listed other than the United States are all terrific trading partners to the United States.  All show great leadership in support for equality of women and those who identfy as LGTBQ.

Canada is one of the world's great champions for human rights and a leader on climate action.  While the NAFTA free trade pact has its detractors on both sides of the US / Canada boarder, it's been a boon overall to both countries, with goods flowing both directions in generally equal measure.

In a three-way tie for first place, New Zealand receives one of the highest "clean government" scores of any country from Transparency International, is a leader on LGTBQ equality and is a terrific trading partner to the United States.

Small in size but big in economic dynamism and human rights leadership, The Netherlands is also a great trading partner to the United States - buying roughly as much from the US as the US buys from it and providing a level playing field for US companies doing business in The Netherlands.

With strong free speach protections for its citizens, a robust and balanced trade relationship with the US, and a transparent political process, the UK is exactly the type of country SweetScore likes to see supported. Consumers can support UK democracy - and its positive effects in the UK and around the world - by supporting UK workers now and buying UK made products now.


Norway's communal spirit is perhaps best evidenced by it's government's decision, several decades ago, to effectively put a relatively small tax on oil being extracted from its off shore oil fields and put the money generated in a sovereign wealth fun for all citizens.  The fund is now worth over $1 -- more than $192,000 per Norwegian citizen.  The United States could do well to levy a similar tax on its own petrochemical extraction to create a citizens wealth fund college education through income tax credits and to fund green tech initiatives specifically chosen to generate high paying jobs in areas hardest hit by the negative effects of globalization.


Australia ranks among the highest of all countries on Transparency International's list of "corruption free countries" and recently adopted same sex marriage through a nationwide referendum. It's a democracy that protects freedom of speech and fundamental human rights.


Belgium's leading position on women's equality and LGTBQ equality and it's regular of balance trade with the US propelled Belgium into the top tier of countries, per SweetScore ratings.

Many would argue that the United States is now facing the greatest challenge it has ever faced - an internal struggle for identity between a democracy that respects and venerates freedom of the press, that assures individual liberties through the rule of law, and that puts no one above the law, and a fascist, authoritarian identity, like that that prevails in much of the world, where freedom of thought and expression is extinguished and the mechanisms of government and the law are perverted into tools of its corrupt and avaricious rulers.   Some would say that the United States has always been two countries with two different hearts: a fascist country founded in soul destroying slavery and racism that venerates the powerful and has disdain for the weak; and a democratic society that expects decency in conduct towards all and fiercely fights for individual liberties and the right and ability of all to succeed based on talent, honest living and hard work.  Those who see the country this way would say that the country's real challenge is that the Civil War was never truly won.  Whatever the analysis, we choose to believe in the United States as a moral democracy made up of generous, honest people who respect the individual rights and liberties championed by its founders and support a robust, free press that is its foundation and greatest protector.

French philosophers were among the first to lead the enlightenment and champion the idea that there are certain universal human rights that apply to all.  French manufactures believe in their craft and are now the owners of a number of companies (like Kitchenaid mixers, still made in Ohio) that still make products in the USA and have resisted a move to Mexico or China.  France gets high SweetScore ratings on each of the SweetScore issues.


Switzerland catches heat from some for it's very tight immigration policies, but provides an awesome environment for its citizens, supporting their freedom of thought and expression, supporting environmentally innovative and clean businesses and providing universal health care few private health plans match.


Having recently enacted same sex marriage (well after most advanced EU countries - but still great to see), Germany now ranks high on most every single issue.  Unfortunately, Germany is terrible about buying from others and sharing the wealth.  The US has a huge trade deficit with Germany and Germany’s current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, was the world’s largest last year at $294 billion.  That means that Germany takes in nearly $300BN a year more than it spends.  The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have urged Germany for years to do more to lift domestic demand as a way to boost imports, stimulate growth elsewhere and reduce global economic imbalances, but Germany doesn’t change its ways.


Spain has a very recent fascist past.  It's many years of fascism followed a failed attempt by those supporting Democracy to defend their Democracy, a the cost of many lives lost and families torn apart.  That history is very much alive for most Spaniards and has led them to consciously embrace all that is human and humanity - and anti fascist.  -- that most Spaniards feel the threat of to this day.


Like it's Scandinavian neighbors, Denmark models thoughtful, corruption-free governance designed to support all its citizens.  Denmark's recent move to require immigrants to become versed in Danish culture and history has received some critique, but is it really such a bad thing to obligate those who arrive to learn how Denmark became the progressive Democracy it is today - a country that provides more individual freedoms and a higher quality of life than most any other country on earth?


Taiwan is a stable Democracy that protects the freedom of speech and association of its inhabitants.  It gets high rankings on transparency and good governance and solid rankings on protection of the environment and women's rights, but owes its place among the highest rated countries entirely to its recent adoption of same sex marriage - a first for any Asian country - giving it a solid 10 out of 10 on LGTBQ protections.


Like it's Scandinavian neighbors, Finland combines a live and let live approach on peoples prate lives - hence it's 10 out of 10 on LBTBQ Issues - with a community safety net that is there to support all.  Finland somehow doesn't manage to buy much from the United States, which puts its Balanced Trade with the US score at a measly 5 our of 10.  Were it not for that, it's overall score would be much higher and it would be among the very top countries listed.

US States

States with Outstanding Ratings

These States excel in the protection of fundamental human rights and the environment.  Our scores take into account leadership on women's equality and reproductive rights, LGTBQ equality and reasonable gun control.

California really is about as good as it gets among US states.  A lively, dynamic state that has long embraced the idea that being "progressive" and being innovative go hand in hand, that community mindedness and thinking for future generations really matter, that change is good and that all problems are solvable.  Maybe it's the sunshine that creates all the optimism that creates that? Or the divers natural beauty of the state?  Whatever the drivers, it's real.

Massachusetts models the best of the community minded, can do attitude of the North East and is notable as one of the few states nationwide where rural areas support progressive causes as much as urban areas.  A sure sign that being decent and being progressive really is in its DNA.

New Yorkers know how to take care of each other, to stand up for themselves and to fight for justice.  New York's community minded positions on the issues SweetScore ratings measures put it in the top tier of US States.

Minnesota's cultural roots are in Scandinavia, as many Scandinavians settled here.  No wonder then that Minnesota, like Sweeden and Norway, scores high in on every issue SweetScore ratings measure.  The power those Scandanavian root holds strong.  Go Vikings!

Like Minnesota, Washington was a carotid place for Scandinavians to re-settle and the culture of Washington, like that of Minnesota, continues to reflect its Scandinavian routines to this day.  The great natural beauty of the state no doubt contributes to its citizens' dedication to protecting the environment and the state scores especially high on Women's Equality and LGBTQ Equality.

Maryland scores and a solid 8 on all issues other than LGTBQ equality and a full 10 out of 10 on LGTBQ equality - bringing into the highest tier of States.

New Jersey takes seriously its position as one of the original founding states - who broke, radically with Britain to defend human rights and liberties.  It scores high on every issue SweetScore covers.

The warmth and welcoming nature of Hawaiian culture is reflected in its progressive politics.  Hawaii scores a 9 on Women's Equality and LGBTQ Equality and an 8 on all other issues.

Oregon and progressive thinking is synonymous - with Portland having become a great center for innovative tech, an environmentally focused lifestyle and open thought.  Oregon a rare 10 out of 10 on Women's Equality and a 10 out of 10 on LGTBQ equality as well, making up for a surprising low score (given it's general outlook) on Environmental Protection.

Small but feisty, Rhode Island sits a short distance from progressive larger neighbors New York and Massachusetts, and has always had it's own distinctly local and especially neighborly take on what it means to be an empathetic culture managed in a practical, logical way.

Connecticut does well on all of the SweetScore issues, but especially shows leadership on Gun Control.  If you don't know why, please watch the film Newton available for streaming on Prime Video.  If you're indifferent on the importance of common sense assault weapons bans now, you won't be after watching this film.

Colorado has evolved a lot over the last couple of decades, from a "western" state largely rural in its outlook to a center for technology and green innovation.  The shadow of the Columbine shootings continues, giving many there a greater consciousness and appreciation of community.

Pennsylvania's narrow tilt for Trump in 2016 was shocking as much for being out of character as anything else.  Home of Eisenhower Republicans, sure, but the state of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the City of Brotherly Love voting for the # 1 fan and # 1asset of Putin?  Just goes to show how deeply the loss of good jobs in Pennsylvania's diminishing industrial sector due to globalization -- as recent administrations have permitted and encouraged it to be practiced -- has spooked a lot of voters.  SweetScore features products from a number of the Pennsylvania manufacturers who are still hanging in there and deserve your support, like All-Clad, makers metal cookware that can be handed down generation to generation, its of such high quality.

All Country Rankings and SweetScores


1.  Canada  92

1.  New Zealand  92

1.  The Netherlands  92

2.  Norway  91

2.  United Kingdom  91

3.  Australia  90

3.  Belgium  90

4.  United States  89

4.  France  89

5.  Switzerland  86

6.  Germany 85

7.  Spain  84

8.  Finland  82

9.  Taiwan  80

9.  Austria  80

10.  Portugal  79

11.  Ireland  78

12.  Israel  76

13.  Argentina 75

13.  Brazil  75

13.  Chile  75

13.  Columbia  75

14.  Czech Republic  74

14.  Estonia  74

14.  Japan  74

15.  Italy  73

16.  Hungry 72

16.  Peru  72

16.  Poland  72

16.  Turkey  72

17.  Honduras  71

17.  Mexico  71

17.  South Korea  71

18.  Ecuador  70

19.  Guatamela  69

19.  Vietnam  69

20.  Egypt  68

20.  El Salvador  68

20.  Nicaragua 68

20.  Slovakia  68

21.  Thailand  67

22.  Morocco 65

23.  Indonesia  64

24.  Bangladesh  60

25.  China  52




All State Rankings and SweetScores


1.  California  90

2.  Massachusetts  89

2.  New York  89

3.  Minnesota  88

3.  Maryland  88

3.  New Jersey  88

4.  Hawaii  87

4. Oregon  87

4.  Rhode Island  87

5.  Connecticut  86

6.  Colorado  83

7.  Pennsylvania  82

8.  Maine  82

9.  Delaware  81

9.  Michigan  81

9.  Nevada  81

9.  Wisconsin  81

10.  Iowa  80

10.  New Mexico  80

10.  North Carolina  80

10.  Oklahoma  80

11.  Arizona  79

11.  Idaho  79

11.  Indiana  79

11.  Montana  79

11.  Nebraska  79

11.  New Hampshire  79

11.  North Dakota  79

12.  Ohio  79

12.  South Carolina  79

12.  South Dakota  79

12.  Tennessee  79

11.  Virginia  79

11.  Wyoming  79

12.  Alabama 78

12.  Louisiana  78

12.  Mississippi  78

12.  West Virginia  78

13.  Florida  77

13.  Missouri  77

14.  Alaska  75

14.  Arkansas  75

14.  Georgia  75

14.  Utah  75

15.  Kansas  73

15.  Kentucky  73






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