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163 countries were rated in the Good Country Index for their global contributions Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The United Kingdom has been ranked fourth on the 2016 Good Country Index, beating Germany, France and the US for doing more for the "common good of humanity". The recently released list was topped by Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Sourcing data from the United Nations, World Bank and other international organisations, each year the index rates 163 countries based on 35 particular indicators. These indicators are not based on "work done at home" but on global contribution.

"What the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world," Simon Anholt, the creator of the index stated on the GCI website.

The UK ranked first in contribution to science and technology, second in health and well-being and fifth in prosperity and equality. However, its contribution to international peace and security was ranked at 64th place while it came 22nd in its work on climate and environmental issues.

Germany, Finland and Canada took fifth, sixth and seventh places on the list with France, Austria and New Zealand making up the remainder of the top ten.

South Africa ranked first in its work towards international peace and security, Austria's efforts towards world order were rated highest and the top spot for global contribution to climate and the planet went to Iceland. Sweden was recognised for its international work in health and well-being as well as prosperity and equality.

The US got an overall ranking of 21, landing 66th in terms of international peace and security and 53rd in terms of culture.

Libya, Equatorial New Guinea and Mauritania have the three lowest rankings on the index.