Switzerland held its position as the No. 1 country in the world, according to the 2018 Best Countries report, a rankings and analysis project by U.S. News & World Report, Y&R's BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In its third year, the rankings evaluate 80 countries across a range of criteria, from economic influence and power to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale.
Switzerland made it to the top for the second year in a row for its low unemployment rate, skilled labour force, and stable and prosperous economy. The country is among the top for establishing a business, good “global citizenship”, entrepreneurship, and quality of life.
For the first time, respondents were asked their opinions of major world leaders. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel are viewed as the most respected globally, while U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin saw the highest disapproval ratings. Among top business leaders, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, was the most respected.
"U.S. News is known globally for its in-depth rankings of complex institutions, like university and hospital systems," said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. "We're taking the same approach with governments to help citizens, business executives and policymakers better evaluate their countries and their leadership."
Switzerland is No. 1, followed by No. 2 Canada, as countries with more progressive social and environmental policies dominate the overall rankings. Nordic nations – Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway – rank in the top 15 overall. Denmark is the No. 1 country for raising children and for women. Sweden takes the top spot for green living, and Norway ranks at the top for citizenship.
The 2018 Best Countries ranking methodology relies on data gathered from a proprietary survey of more than 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens. "The Best Countries report speaks to the effect a nation's brand can have on its economic prosperity and perceived standing in the world," said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School.
The Top ten 2018
#4: United Kingdom
#8: United States
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