The fifth annual Best Countries Report has placed Switzerland first in the world, followed by Canada in second place and Japan in third position.

Riverside of Rhine in Basel with Mittlere Brucke, Switzerland
Switzerland came first in the 2020 Best Countries Report © trabantos/Shutterstock

Conducted by U.S. News & World Report, BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the report evaluated the perceptions of 73 nations across a range of categories. These included economic influence, military might, education and quality of life to determine which countries wield the most influence on a global scale. Germany came in fourth place in the report and Australia was fifth. The UK came in sixth position, the US in seventh, Sweden came eighth, the Netherlands was ninth and Norway came in tenth position.

Calm lake in Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada
Canada came in second place in the 2020 Best Countries Report © Ron Caimano/500px

Switzerland is made up of 16,000 sq miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes and valleys. It’s one of the world’s wealthiest countries and has been well-known for centuries for its neutrality. It has low unemployment and a skilled labour force, and it prides itself on its diversity as it is home to regions with distinct cultural identities. Swiss citizens have won more Nobel Prizes and registered more patents per capita than most other nations. Its neutrality during periods of conflict attracted some of the world’s greatest minds to move there, including James Joyce, George Byron and Voltaire.

Cherry blossom trees in Japan
Japan came in third place in the 2020 Best Countries Report © Ark Tui/500px

The report also revealed a general consensus around climate change and global anxiety about technology. It found that the US is perceived as the most powerful country in the world, followed by Russia and China. Canada was perceived as the most trustworthy country. It was also deemed the best for quality of life, followed by Denmark and Sweden. Malaysia and China were viewed as the top three countries in which to start a business, while Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands were considered to be best for women. The US, UK and Canada were ranked top for education, and Sweden, Switzerland and Finland were top for green-living.

Panorama of Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden came top ten in the 2020 Best Countries Report © Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock

To view the full rankings and search country profiles, please visit here.

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