The Reputation Institute, an international consulting firm with offices in Copenhagen and Boston, issues a yearly report of the countries with the “best reputations” worldwide. The firm uses this report to recognize the countries with international renown for garnering respect, trust, admiration and esteem from others, and the firm uses a number of criteria to gauge a country's worthiness to be included within their list. The aspects considered within these criteria cover a wide range of intrinsic features of nations, including natural beauty, the populace’s outlook and attitude towards their homeland, domestic safety and security, and the competence of the government. The annual report is also used as a guide by the institute in helping countries improve their marks on external perceptions. Effective governments, an appealing environment, and an advanced economy were the main categories for the survey.
Looking at the Data
The institute gathers its data by running an online survey of 48,000 consumers from G8 countries. Data is collected online from February to April on an annual basis. It further collects additional data from another 30,000 interviewees from non-G8 countries. Questions range from how they admire a country, good vibes they get from it, and their trust and overall sentiments towards that country. The top 10 most respected countries in the survey were found to be Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands. Further down the list are Belgium, Ireland, Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, Portugal, France and Singapore. Certain countries also scored better in specific reputation sectors than others. Sweden, for instance, scored especially high in governmental aspects, while Japan did similarly well in its own reputation for growth and development.
Canada On Top
Canada has been on top of the list several times now, including second in 2010 and 2014. The country boasts of a beautiful countryside, a genial population and no recession. Its political system is a federal parliamentary democracy. It ranks number 11 among the largest economies in the world. Canada also rated high in its appealing environment which attracts tourists from all over the globe. Interview responses from foreigners concerning Canada show that most people from other countries would not be opposed to visiting, studying, working and living there. Canadians today are a multi-plural group, comprised of European, Asian, Aboriginal, Black, Latin American, multi-racial and other ancestries, in that order from largest in population to the smallest. With a general feeling of acceptance of all peoples therein, it is no wonder that Canada has been on the top tier every year for each of the six years the list has been compiled.
Trends and Surprises in National Reputation Rankings
Most of the countries on the top 20 list for best reputation are located in the northern reaches of our globe. Of the countries that didn't make it to the top 20 of list, the United States may be one of the most surprising absentees to many. The US was considered about average in terms of national reputation, known mostly for its technology sector and its recognizable brand-name products. Other reasons that pushed the US out of the list of the top 20 reputation below was the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of super-PACS, a decision that has caused many people at home and abroad to lose trust in the American political system. Countries that had the most improvements in reputation were from Asia, namely Iran, China and India, in that order. Countries that lost points were Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Qatar, Pakistan, Nigeria and Iraq. The members of this last group of countries were either involved in war or governmental corruption to some degree in the past year.