2018 Best Countries Report

The report detailing the top countries has been compiled by Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and the global consumer insights company Y&R BAV Group – over the last three years.

David Reibstein, Wharton professor of marketing says the, “report speaks to the effect a nation’s brand can have on its economic prosperity and perceived standing in the world.”  Military might and economic power are no longer key determinants to a country’s brand success.

To compile the report, 21,000 respondents were asked to evaluate 80 countries by ranking them according to 65 attributes, e.g. economic influence, power, citizenship, and quality of life.  The collective scores across the 65 attributes determined each country’s ranking.

The top ten countries are:

  1. Switzerland: Scored in the top 10 for most business-friendly, cultural influence, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, starting a business, most-forward looking countries, headquartering a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably, women.
  2. Canada: Scored in the top ten for the same attributes as Switzerland, except cultural influence.
  3. Germany: Scored in the top 10 for the same attributes as Switzerland except for most business-friendly, cultural influence, and retiring comfortably.  It scored in the top ten for the additional attributes of power, and most influential.
  4. United Kingdom: Scored in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, starting a business, transparency, and education.  It also scored in the top ten for starting a career.
  5. Japan: Scored in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, most forward looking, most influential, green living, and education.  It also scored in the top ten for up & coming economies.
  6. Sweden: Scored in the top ten for the same attributes as Switzerland except for starting a business, and most forward looking.
  7. Australia: Scored in the top ten for the same attributes as Switzerland except for most business-friendly, and entrepreneurship.  Also scored in the top ten for the additional attribute of investing in education.
  8. United States: Scored in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, most forward looking, and education. Also scored in the top ten for the additional attribute of most influential.
  9. France: Scored in the top ten for cultural influence, power, and education.  Also scored in the top ten for the additional attributes of heritage & richest traditions, most influential, and starting a career.
  10. Netherlands: Scored in the top ten for the same attributes as Switzerland except for cultural influence, starting a business, most forward-looking, education, and retiring comfortably.  It also scored in the top ten for the additional attribute of travelling alone.

In addition to country rankings, respondents were also asked to share their opinions of major world leaders.

Alphabet Executive Chairman was the most respected business leader.

In politics, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel were the most respected.

In terms of disapproval in politics, nearly 60% of respondents disapproved of U.S. president, Donald Trump.  Second in disapproval terms was Russian president Vladimir Putin with 44%.


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About the Author

Terence Brake

Terence Brake is an author in the global learning & development field and has over 20 years experience helping executives to work better across cultures.

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