Economy & Politics

Ranking These countries have the best image

A ranking of the best countries in the world is quickly cobbled together. How meaningful it is is another matter. The media company U.S. News takes a less arbitrary approach to its annual leaderboard and prefers to ask: Which countries have the best image worldwide?

A good image pays off

The ranking of U-S. News in collaboration with the strategy consultancy BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is intended to reflect the value of states beyond hard economic and population data. According to the authors, the image plays a decisive role in this. “The reputation can stimulate the economy, tourism and investment and directly influence national economies,” says the preface to the current ranking.

73 nations were examined for the best list. According to the information they represent, they represent around 95 percent of the total value generated worldwide with goods, goods and services. According to the U.S. News on the survey of 20,548 people from 36 countries in four regions (Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East as well as North and South America). Participants were divided into three categories (some fell into more than one category):

  1. Informed elites (people with higher education who are at least middle class and read or watch the news four days a week): 11,591 respondents
  2. Business decision-makers (executives or business owners): 6081 respondents
  3. General public (people aged 18 and over who are representative of their country in terms of age and gender): 6,927 respondents

Factors for the good reputation of a state

According to the information, each country was rated on the basis of 65 possible attributes with which the respondents associate the state or not. The possible properties fell into these nine main categories:

  1. Sympathetic (two percent of the final grade): friendly, fun, pleasant climate, sexy, etc.
  2. Civil rights (15.88 percent): takes care of human rights, environmental protection, religious freedom, rule of law, equality, etc.
  3. Cultural influence (12.96 percent): culturally influential, modern, prestigious, etc.
  4. Entrepreneurship (17.87 percent): globally networked, high level of education, innovative, easy access to capital, transparent economic structures, etc.
  5. Heritage (1.13 percent): cultural access, many cultural attractions, diverse history, good food
  6. Doers (14.36 percent): different, dynamic, unique
  7. Business basics (11.08 percent): low production costs, favorable tax system, transparent government business, corrupt, bureaucratic
  8. Power (7.95 percent): a leader, economically and politically influential, strong international relations, strong military
  9. Quality of life (7.95 percent): good job market, affordable, stable economy, family-friendly, equal pay for equal work, safe, good public school, good health care

In order for a country to be eligible for the ranking, it also had to be in the World Bank’s top 100 for gross domestic product, direct investments from abroad and international tourism in 2017. A prerequisite was a place in the Top 150 of the United Nations Human Development Index. Countries that did not appear in all four rankings and therefore were not included were, according to U.S. News including Belgium and Ireland. Austria, however, made it back into the candidate circle in 2020.

These countries have the best image in the world

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