BEHIND A COUNTRY’S wealth and success are the policies that create possibilities, the people that drive the effort and the history that shapes the environment and perspective.
Globalization has expanded a country’s presence beyond its physical borders, and the Best Countries rankings – now in their fifth year – seek to examine a nation’s worth beyond hard metrics.
The Best Countries In The World 2020 report and rankings are based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of several qualitative characteristics, impressions that can drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies. The report covers the perceptions of 73 nations.
The study and model used to score and rank countries were developed by BAV Group and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specifically professor David J. Reibstein, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.
Each country was scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on collecting individual survey responses. The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic with the average, the higher its attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalized to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.
Canada Ranks Seconds For The Best Countries In The World 2020
Norway, which has twice rejected European Union membership, ranks No. 10 overall. The country takes the No. 3 spots for citizenship and is the No. 2 best countries for transparency.
The Netherlands moved up two spots this year to rank No. 9 overall. The Dutch were the first to legalize same-sex marriage, and national policies on drugs and abortion are liberal; their country ranks No. 6 in offering top quality of life.
Sweden, one of the most generous countries contributing funds to humanitarian aid, ranks No. 8 overall. The country is considered No. 1 for citizenship and No. 3 in its perceived quality of life.
The U.S. ranked No. 7 overall, moving up one spot from 2019. The country with the largest economy in the world is also considered the most powerful. It ranks No. 3 in entrepreneurship and No. 4 in its cultural influence, as well.
The U.K. ranks No. 6 overall. The nation facing departure from the European Union fell one spot overall but moved up a spot in its perceived entrepreneurship compared to the 2019 rankings. It maintained its No. 5 spots in its cultural influence.
Australia is the No. 5 Best Country overall. The Land Down Under – No. 5 in its perceived quality of life and No. 8 in its cultural Influence – also ranks in the top 10 in many areas, including education, comfortable retirement and the best country to travel alone.
Germany is ranked No. 4 overall and lands in the top five for its perceived sense of entrepreneurship, power and international influence. The country’s leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has one of the highest global approval ratings among prominent global leaders.
Japan jumps two positions from 2018 to rank No. 3 overall. It is the highest-ranked Asian country, and it ranks No. 5 among movers and No. 1 as the most forward-looking country.
Canada, the second-largest country in the world in terms of landmass, ranks No. 2 overall. It takes the top spot in its perceived quality of life and No. 2 in terms of the best countries to headquarter a corporation.
For the fourth year in a row, Switzerland is considered the No. 1 Best Country. The country, well-known for its history of neutrality, ranks No. 7 in citizenship and No. 2 in being open for business.