Lonely Planet Writer

Sweden has replaced Canada as the 'most reputable' country in the world, says new report

Sweden has knocked Canada out of the top spot as the world’s most reputable country in 2016, according to the Reputation Institute.

Fishing village on the Weather Islands, seven miles off Bohuslan coast.
Fishing village on the Weather Islands in Sweden. Image by Matt Munro

The Reputation Institute has released its 2016 Country RepTrak report, which is the world’s largest annual survey of country reputations, based on “perceptions of whether the country has an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government”.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park.
Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada. Image by Greg McLemore

Sweden took the first place after two years in third, knocking Canada out of the top spot. In third place this year is Switzerland, followed by Australia and Norway.

Moleson mountain towering above cobbled streets of Gruyeres.
Moleson mountain towering above cobbled streets of Gruyeres in Switzerland. Image by Pete Seaward

In sixth place is Finland, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands. In this year’s survey Ireland moved into the top 10, while Belgium lost its spot.

The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia.
The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia. Image by Maciej Nadstazik

“The 2016 Country RepTrak shows that traditional, objective measures, such as size and economic output have little bearing on the general public’s emotional connection to a nation,” said Nicolas Trad, executive partner at the Reputation Institute in a statement. “Being welcoming, safe and beautiful are the top three drivers of a country’s reputation, and nations with a strong reputation are better positioned to welcome more tourists, increase exports, improve diplomacy and attract foreign investment, knowledge and talent.”

Reine is a small fishing village located on the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
Reine is a small fishing village located on the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Image by Kenneth Schoth

The scores are measured by consumer perceptions, and according to the survey, people who perceive a country as having a strong reputation are more likely to visit or recommend living, working, investing, or studying in that country, as well as buying products from that country.