Nation Branding: Swiss on a Roll in 2017 Best Countries Ranking

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Switzerland best countries ranking 2017 U.S. News and World Report

America is going to have to wait at least another year before it can start winning so much it begs to stop winning – at least it does in one particular ranking.

U.S. News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Consulting, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have teamed up for the second year to calculate the World’s Best Countries, in their estimation. The annual nation branding ranking reflects a survey of 21,000 residents of 80 nations, assessing factors including from political and economic influence, citizenship and quality of life.

Switzerland takes the cake as the world’s best nation. Helping it win that title is its distinction as the best country for a corporate headquarters as well as its third-place finish in the “best country for a comfortable retirement” listing. (The first two countries, in that category, are New Zealand and Australia.)

“People regard the European country highly for its citizenship, being open for business, an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, the quality of life it provides its citizens and for its cultural influence,” according to the report.

2017 World's Best Countries

Second-place Canada won kudos for its national commitment to multiculturalism, while Brexit didn’t seem to affect the United Kingdom too much, as it stayed in the third spot behind Canada.

Germany‘s strong economy helped secure its fourth-place spot, while fifth-place Japan was praised for being “one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations.”

The United States lost marks in a few categories from last year’s list, including best for business, citizenship, adventure tourism, education, transparency and preferred corporate headquarters.

“We wanted to capture how tumultuous political change affect a country’s perceived standing in the world,” stated Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News & World Report.

“Similar to what we have done with hospitals, universities and other institutions, the Best Countries portal pairs fact-based metrics with storytelling to help citizens, business leaders and governments better evaluate their countries and make sense of a range of important global issues.”

“The Best Countries project allows us to chart how global perceptions of a country affect its prosperity,” said David Reibstein, a professor of marketing at the Wharton School.

“We’ve learned that a focus on education and citizenship—including human rights, gender equality, religious freedom and more—can drive prosperity more than traditional forms of power, like military prowess.”

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