While we all have a list of countries with the best reputation in the world, I’ll bet you didn’t know that a country’s reputation can actually be measured. That is exactly what the good folks over at the Reputation Institute do for a living. They quantify countries’ reputation and explain in detail how they achieved it. Some of the most glaring issues don’t seem to affect a country’s reputation much, like its population or GDP. In fact, not a single one from the 10 most populous countries in the world is on the list. Neither are top 10 in GDP, exports or tourism, although the last one seems kind of contradictory.
What does affect a country’s reputation then? Apparently, the biggest correlation with the list of countries with the best reputation in the world is with the lists of happiest, most peaceful and the countries with the least corruption. According to the UN’s World Happiness Report 2015, all of the top 10 countries are also present on this list as well. The correlation is also strong with the Global Peace Index and Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the Transparency International.
The geographic distribution of reputable countries is very interesting, to say the least. Out of 11, 8 are located in Europe and not surprisingly, almost all Scandinavian countries are present. But not everything is perfect in Europe. France fell 2 places and Germany incredible 5 places. This is mostly due to the economic measures their governments have taken to encourage growth. On a positive side, countries most affected by the crisis (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland) all made significant gains, reputation wise. Hopefully, this will reflect on their economies as well, as investors regain some of the lost trust. The three outsiders are from Oceania and North America. And before you get your hopes up (if such unwarranted optimism still exists outside Donald Trump’s campaign office), the good ol’ US just missed top 20 on the list of countries with the best reputation in the world. Not a single Asian country is present, although Iran, India, and China improved their scores significantly from the last year. Japan (16th place) and Singapore (20th place) are the only Asian countries among the top 20. Not surprisingly, no one even mentions Africa in this context, although there are few of them among the countries with the worst reputation in the world.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this survey is the gap between how countries see themselves and how others see them. Top four countries with the biggest gap are Russia, China, India, and the USA. There’s a joke in there to be made about the size of a country’s nuclear arsenal and its self-image, but we’ll let it slide.
Without further ado, we present you with most reputable countries in the world.