For the first time, scientists have ranked nations by the empathy of their people, and according to data collected from 104,365 adults across 63 different countries, Ecuador is the most empathetic country in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and Peru.

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The Czech Republic and most of its Central European neighbours are among the least empathetic countries in the world according to a US survey run by Michigan State University.

The Czech Republic was placed 55th in the table, Slovakia was placed in 57th place with nine out of the 10 worst placed countries in former communist countries.

These tests assessed each person’s empathy, basic personality traits, prosociality, and individualism/collectivism. They also measured each individual’s self-esteem and feelings of wellbeing. The volunteers were asked how happy they felt with their lives, and how often they donated money to an organisation, volunteered time to an organisation, or helped a stranger.

Here’s the top 10:

  1. Ecuador
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Peru
  4. Denmark
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Korea
  7. United States
  8. Taiwan
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Kuwait

You can see the rankings of other countries in the map at the top of the page. (Larger version here.)