Y&R’s BAV Consulting Unveils Annual Best Countries Rankings

Mar 06, 2017

From power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, the 2017 Best Countries report captures how nations are perceived on a global scale. Now in its second year, the joint rankings and analysis project from U.S. News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, debuted Switzerland as the best country in the world. Canada, the UK, Germany, and Japan also topped the list, while the U.S. dropped to #7.

The 2017 Best Countries ranking methodology relies on data gathered from a proprietary perception survey – conducted after the U.S. presidential election – of more than 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens. The 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. Our data captured widespread global concern for the social and geopolitical changes that cast many nations into uncertainty and turmoil. The new rankings reflect people’s desire to restore some sense of order by rewarding nations they perceive as championing neutrality, stability, and diplomacy,” added John Gerzema, chairman, and CEO of Y&R’s BAV Consulting.

The Best Countries project allows us to chart how global perceptions of a country affect its prosperity. Our data captured widespread global concern for the social and geopolitical changes that cast many nations into uncertainty and turmoil. The new rankings reflect people’s desire to restore some sense of order by rewarding nations they perceive as championing neutrality, stability, and diplomacy.

Below are some key findings from the 2017 Best Countries Report:

2017 Best Countries Rankings
*See the full rankings here

Overall

1. Switzerland
2. Canada
3. United Kingdom
4. Germany
5. Japan
6. Sweden
7. United States
8. Australia
9. France
10. Norway

To Start a Business

1. Thailand
2. China
3. Malaysia

To Headquarter a Corporation
1. Switzerland
2. Canada
3. Australia

Most Powerful
1. The United States
2. Russia
3. China

For Women
1. Sweden
2. Denmark
3. Norway

For Education
1. Canada
2. United Kingdom
3. Germany

For Comfortable Retirement
1. New Zealand
2. Australia
3. Switzerland

The Best Countries rankings are the centerpiece of the growing U.S. News Best Countries portal, a platform combining in-depth editorial content, interactive data visualization tools, video, photos and op-eds from global experts in government, business, and academia. The new platform is part of the expanding News channel at U.S. News, which includes the new Best States project, unveiled in February.

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