The Best Countries Are The Safest And Most Beautiful

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Money is no longer a good reason to like a country – happiness,    safety and beautiful surroundings count for a lot more.

A new survey has dismissed the myth that size and the economy are good ways to measure a country’s reputation.

The Reputation Institute, a research consultancy based in the US, asked 58,000 people across the world about the country where they lived and came up with a list of 70 countries ranked according to whether people would recommend their home to visitors, expats and investors.

Sweden topped the table as the country with the best reputation, jumping to the top after two years in the third place.

The rankings have none of the largest world economies in the top 10 – but four Scandinavian nations do make the grade.

Top and bottom countries

The top 10 countries are:

RankCountryScore
1Sweden78.34
2Canada77.82
3Switzerland77.00
4Australia76.84
5Norway76.18
6Finland75.16
7New Zealand74.68
8Denmark74.25
9Ireland74.11
10Netherlands73.90

The least reputable countries are those with political insecurity, civil unrest or dictatorial governments:

RankCountryScore
61Kazakhstan41.58
62Nicaragua41.08
63Angola40.95
64Algeria40.52
65Russia39.82
66Nigeria36.37
67Saudi Arabia36.32
68Pakistan31.03
69Iran29.74
70Iraq24.56

Source: Reputation Institute

Emotional connections

“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. “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.”

In this year’s survey, Ireland joined the top 10 in the place of Belgium.

No country rated ‘excellent’, which would have meant achieving a score of at least 80.

France had the biggest reputational improvement – up 4.7 points. Russia also improved by 4.7 points but still languishes at the foot of the table.

Turkey lost the most points – dropping by seven to score 42.73 to take 58th place.

Read the full report