When you’re planning a trip, it helps to know what you can expect when visiting your destination. Finding that in-depth information, however, can be challenging.
Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best countries can help with that analysis. The ranking is based on global perceptions of 87 countries.
More than 17,000 people from around the world were asked about 73 country attributes in 10 overarching areas: Adventure, Agility, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, Quality of Life, and Social Purpose.
Information about each country’s economy was also factored into U.S. News’s matrix.
So, let’s get to it. Here are the top 10 best countries in the world according to the U.S. News data.
Switzerland, which was also in the top spot last year, has low unemployment, a skilled labor force, and one of the highest gross domestic products per capita in the world, U.S. News explains. Importantly, the country, officially called the Swiss Confederation, received its highest scores for Quality of Life and Cultural Influence.
Canada received its high ranking for Agility due to good scores noting that it is “responsive,” “progressive,” and “modern.” Its Quality of Life ranking was boosted by high scores for being a country that is “family friendly” and “economically stable,” and for being “safe” and “politically stable.”
Sweden is heavily capitalistic, but a large percent of its spending goes to public service, U.S. News notes. Importantly, healthcare and college education are free.
The country’s highest scores were in the Quality of Life metric, buoyed by having a “well-developed public health system” and a “well-developed public education system,” but also for being “politically stable” and “family-friendly.”
Australia’s highest scores came in the Agility category, where it ranked well for being “modern” and “responsive.” Meanwhile, its Quality of Life ranking was lifted by high scores for being “family friendly” and “economically stable.”
5. United States
The United States’s highest ranking was for Agility, where it was ranked number 1 among all countries because it is perceived to be so “dynamic,” “modern,” and “progressive.”
The U.S. also scored highly for Entrepreneurship, principally due to scores noting it has such a “well-developed infrastructure” and “well-developed digital infrastructure.”
Japan received its highest ranking for Entrepreneurship, where it scored well for its “educated population,” while being “innovative” with a high degree of “technological expertise.” Notably, Japan also ranked highly for Cultural Influence due to high scores for being “modern” and having “an influential culture.”
Germany, which has the largest population in the European Union, also has one of the largest economies in the world, U.S. News explains. Germany was ranked second among all countries for Entrepreneurship, primarily due to high scores for its “skilled labor force,” “well-developed infrastructure,” and “well-developed legal framework.”
8. New Zealand
While the majority of New Zealand’s population is concentrated in the north, the low population density in the south makes it easy to explore the country’s mountains and pristine beaches, U.S. News reports.
Indeed, it comes as no surprise that New Zealand’s highest rankings were for Adventure, where it ranked well for being “friendly” and “scenic.” Importantly, however, it also ranked highly for Social Purpose, where its highest scores were because its citizens care about the environment, animal rights, and human rights.
9. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is “a highly developed nation that exerts considerable international economic, political, scientific, and cultural influence,” U.S. News notes.
It’s not surprising then to see that its highest ranking was for Entrepreneurship, where the U.K. scored well for being “connected to the rest of the world,” but also for its “educated population” and “well-developed digital infrastructure.”
“The people of the Netherlands have formed what has long been considered a tolerant society,” U.S. News reports. “In 2001, the country became the first to legalize same-sex marriage, and national stances on drugs, prostitution, euthanasia, and abortion are liberal.”
With that in mind, it stands to reason that the Netherlands ranked highest for its scores for Quality of Life and Social Purpose. In particular, it received high rankings for being “family-friendly” while also receiving high scores for “gender equality” and “racial equity.”