The best country in the world to live in? The country of Germany, says the U.S. News & World Report, in conjunction with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Achtung baby! The land of endless Oktoberfests, bratwursts and Cinderella-esque castles can lift a stein and toast its nummer eins ranking.
In its Best Countries report published Jan. 20, the US News wrote: “What makes a country the best? Is it leadership? Military might? Economic strength? A rich and deep vein of culture and history? Freedom, a stable government and transparency when it comes to business and the political process? In a word, yes. All of the above contribute to how people perceive what makes one country better than another – and ultimately which one ranks as the best overall.”
The news survey asked over 16,000 people from four global regions to rank their perceptions of their own country, as compared to fifty-nine other major countries. An overall score was assigned based on the attributes. Here is the breakdown of the top ten:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, the 2015 Financial Times and Time magazine Person of the Year, “has actively led her government to confront some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as the Greek debt crisis and the waves of immigrants sweeping across Europe,” US News writes.
While the USA excelled at “cultural influence” (third), and “entrepreneurship” (third), it didn’t even crack the top twenty for “heritage – richest traditions,” though it did rank number one for “power.”
“There really does seem to be some skepticism about some things that we (Americans) think we may do better than other people do, education being a prime one,” says Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News and World Report. “Canada and the United Kingdom do better than the U.S. in education. People don’t feel as comfortable about U.S. education as perhaps we’ve been led to believe.”
Best place to visit was ranked as Brazil and most people thought the best place to do business was in Luxembourg. France topped the “best culture” category, while Canada ranked first for “quality of life.” Watch out for India though – they were voted the “No. 1 up and coming economy.” The worst country to live in? Algeria.
“How a nation is perceived outside its borders is critical to its success,” said Martin Sorrell from the ad firm WPP, the parent company of BAV Consulting, according to CNBC. “Smart, thoughtful and responsible administrations pay attention to image and reputation, because a better image contributes towards more foreign direct investment, more tourism and a ‘made-in’ or ‘created-in’ premium.”
In that regard, the United States only ranked number 27 in “Adventure,” a category made up of a country’s perceived fun, scenic views, climate, its friendliness and if it’s a “sexy” country.
Do you agree that Germany is the best country in the world to live in?