ZURICH, 30 January 18 2018: US News & World Report’s new ranking that evaluates countries on everything from economic influence, power, citizenship and quality of life, has declared Switzerland the world’s best country for 2018.
It’s the second time the country has topped the publication’s Best Countries report, which studied 80 countries for annual ranking.
After Switzerland, Canada, Germany, UK and Japan round out the top five spots — all countries with progressive social and environmental policies, analysts note.
Predictably Japan was the only Asian nation in the top 10 list. Singapore was the second highest placed country in Asia, ranked 16, up one place from the 2017 listing. China was 20th, India was 25th and Thailand 27th, down one spot from 26th in 2017.
Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway) are also heavily represented on the top-10 list and top other subcategories thanks mainly to their progressive social policies.
Denmark for instance, is named the best country for women, and for raising children, while Norway ranks the top country for citizenship. The category of citizenship considers a country’s record on human rights, gender equality and religious freedom.
“For the countries that rose to the top of this year’s rankings, it is once again clear that military vigour and economic power are no longer the key determinants to a country’s brand success,” said Y&R Global CEO David Sable in a statement.
Y&R’s BAV Group helped develop the model for the ranking.
“The Best Countries rankings continue to show us that just as brands must focus on a wide range of attributes to raise profiles and win over audiences, nations that are multidimensional and that reflect a wider range of qualities, such as innovation and compassion, have the brand appeal that propels them on the global stage.”
New this year, respondents were also asked to evaluate major world leaders. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were deemed the most respected leaders globally, while US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin received the dubious distinction of receiving the worst approval ratings.
To determine the top countries, Y&R’s BAV Group and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania developed a model that identified 65 attributes, which were then presented in a survey to more than 21,000 business leaders, elites and general citizens around the world.
Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.
The top 10 countries on the Best Countries 2018 list:
- United Kingdom
- United States