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 US News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
South Africa is ranked 39th out of 80 countries (38 in 2017) 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 is followed by 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.
Germany moved up one spot to No. 3, replacing the UK, which fell to No. 4. Germany’s reputation as an open nation with government transparency and strong gender equality led to its rise in the rankings. The UK’s drop, however, signals a growing lack of confidence in its economic strength post-Brexit, the report said.
Japan remains at No. 5, scoring high marks in entrepreneurship, up-and-coming economies and rich traditions. Singapore and China, at No. 16 and No. 20 respectively, follow among the highest ranked countries in Asia. Both nations are viewed as having a strong potential for economic growth.
The US falls one spot to No. 8, after No. 6 Sweden and No. 7 Australia. It drops in two important categories: open for business, which looks at market-oriented countries, and movers, which evaluates nations with up-and-coming economies.
Perceptions of the US as politically stable, democratic and having an open travel policy have decreased. However, the nation remains No. 1 in power for the third year, closely followed by Russia at No. 2, according to the report.
Luxembourg is the most business-friendly nation, Germany is No. 1 in entrepreneurship and Switzerland is the best to headquarter a corporation. The UK leads in education, Canada is No. 1 for quality of life and New Zealand is the favorite for retirement.
Brazil is the No. 1 country to visit, and Italy ranks highest as the nation with the richest traditions.
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.
|Country||Rank||Entrepreneurship||Business||Quality of Life
South Africa scores highly for movers (distinctive, different, unique and dynamic) and adventure (fun, scenic, pleasant, climate and friendly), scoring in the top 20.