US News & World Report, an American media organisation notable for its influential US university rankings, has come out with its second annual report on the best nations in the world. The rankings were determined by evaluating 80 countries—60 more than last year—across a range of criteria, from power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale. The survey of more than 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens across the globe was conducted after the US presidential election. Here are the top 10, as per the list…
Switzerland is the best country on earth, as per US News & World Report. The small central European country is one of the world’s wealthiest and has been well-known for centuries for its neutrality. Switzerland has low unemployment, a skilled labour force and one of the highest gross domestic products per capita in the world, as per the CIA World Factbook. The country’s strong economy is powered by low corporate tax rates, a highly-developed service sector led by financial services and a high-tech manufacturing industry.
Canadians pride themselves in encouraging all of their citizens to honour their own cultures. In 1971, the country adopted a national policy of multiculturalism, which celebrates the country’s diversity. Canada is a high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living. Trade agreements in the 1980s and 1990s dramatically bolstered trade with the US, and now the two counties are each others’ largest trading partners. While the service sector is Canada’s biggest economic driver, the country is a significant exporter of energy, food and minerals. Canada ranks third in the world in proven oil reserves and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.
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The UK is a highly developed nation that exerts considerable international economic, political, scientific and cultural influence.The capital city, London, is a major international financial centre and one of the most visited cities in the world. The banking and tourism industries are parts of a larger service sector that powers much of the nation’s economic growth. The industrial revolution began in the UK, and manufacturing—led by the automobile and aerospace industries—is a declining though still significant part of the nation’s economy.
Germany, the most populous nation in the European Union, possesses one of the largest economies in the world and has seen its role in the international community grow steadily since reunification. Germany employs a social market economy—open-market capitalism that also carries certain social service guarantees. Its economy is one of the world’s largest and Germany is one of the globe’s leading importers and exporters.
Japan is one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations. With the third-largest global economy, Japan has largely bounced back from the manufacturing disruption caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The east Asian nation is among the world’s largest producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment and steel. The service sector makes up the highest percentage of the economy in terms of gross domestic product and employment.
Despite its militaristic roots, Sweden has remained neutral in times of war for centuries. Instead, commitment to human rights, public service and sustainability have helped to make it a respected leader in international affairs. Swedes are some of the world’s most generous people, donating about 1% of the gross national product to humanitarian aid programmes each year.
The US economy is the world’s largest in terms of gross domestic product, and also the most technologically powerful. The country’s most significant exports are computers and electrical machinery, vehicles, chemical products, food, live animals and military equipment. The US also has the world’s largest coal reserves. The country is home to some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Australia is considered a wealthy nation with a market-based economy that has a comparatively high gross domestic product and per capita income. Its economy is driven by the service sector and the export of commodities. The nation has a high rate of participation in sporting activities and boasts a comparatively high life expectancy for both females and males. Its major cities routinely score well in global livability surveys.
The World Bank classifies France as a wealthy, high-income nation. French citizens look to the federal government to guarantee certain social services, such as education, healthcare and pensions for retirement. The French economy is one of the world’s largest and is a mixture of private enterprise and government involvement. Tourism is a major contributor to the economy.
Norway is a high-income nation with a vibrant private sector and a substantial safety net. Discovery of oil and gas off the coast in the 1960s gave the country an economic boost and, today, Norway is one of the world’s leading petroleum exporters.