Americans aren’t sexy? Germany and Japan are entrepreneurial? Surprised? Those are just some of the findings of a study of 60 of the world’s leading nations. Germany was ranked the best country in the world, Canada came in second place, followed by the United Kingdom and the U.S.
“Best” might sound like a ballsy title, but this study is based on academic research into how nations are perceived among their peers. Released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, the study was a collaboration between U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and BAV Consulting. U.S. News published the survey on its website.
The study looked at 65 factors in nine categories: adventure, business readiness, cultural clout, differentiation, global citizenship, innovation & entrepreneurship, power & influence, quality of life and values & heritage. Wharton Marketing Professor David Reibstein calls the respondents “residents, business decision makers and the educated elite of other counties.”
What does it matter who’s “best” anyway? On Wharton’s website, Reibstein calls these rankings an issue of branding “beyond national pride. A nation’s brand affects its economy — it matters what others think about us. Our actions, visible on a global scale, have economic consequences far beyond the direct cost of those actions.”
If a nation is a brand, it looks like the U.S. has quite a bit to improve. Sure, we did well in big, geopolitical categories like power and cultural influence, but we didn’t even break the top 20 in perception of being open for business; things like high wages, government interference and high corruption seemed to get in the way.
And sorry, my fellow Americans: We’re not seen as very sexy either.
The top 10 nations are listed below. You can see the survey methodology Here.