Every day the Internet abounds with new claims about which is the best country in the world.
Of course, it’s difficult to gauge how official any of these rankings really are. Among the more reputable, however, is the annual ‘Best Countries’ report published by US News & World Report.
The survey evaluates 80 countries based on 75 different metrics within nine subcategories, including: Job market, Affordability, Economic stability, Family friendliness, Income equality, Politically stability, Safety, Public health, and Public education system.
For the third consecutive year, Switzerland was named the world’s ‘Best Country’. Japan rose to the runner-up spot, while Canada finished a very respectable third.
Canada also managed to take first place in a highly coveted category: Quality of Life. It is also the third-best country for women, as well as education.
Germany was recognized as having the highest brand power, France is top in cosmetics and fashion, Italy takes the crown for food and wine, and Japan wins in technology and electronics. Switzerland is the most innovative, the United States is the most powerful, the United Kingdom is the best for education, and New Zealand the best for retirement.
The top 10:
5. United Kingdom
8. United States
Does any of this matter? “The report speaks to the value of having a strong global standing as nations compete for investment, tourists and influence in the same way companies compete for consumers’ dollars,” said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the esteemed Wharton School, which counts Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and, uh, Donald Trump as alumni.
In other words, the ranking isn’t entirely meaningless.
More than 20,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens were consulted for the survey.