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Switzerland Maintains Top Spot Overall, Japan Captures Second Place in 2019 Best Countries Report

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 23, 2019  | 13:02 IST

(Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with PR Newswire. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) New Polls Find Two-thirds of the World Agree There are No Objective News Sources and the Internet is Divisive WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Switzerland is the No. 1 country in the world for the third consecutive year, according to the 2019 Best Countries Report, a rankings and analysis project by U.S. News & World Report, BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The rankings evaluate 80 countries across a range of categories, from economic influence and military might to education and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale. For the first time, respondents were asked to pick the countries they would prefer to buy goods from as a measure of a country's brand power.Germany comes out on top with consumers wanting cars, healthcare and pharmaceuticals from the nation. France is No. 1 for cosmetics and fashion, Italy is No. 1 in food and wine, and Japan is first for technology and electronics. At No. 8 on the overall Best Countries list, the U.S. has some catching up to do, ranking No. 7 in wine, No. 10 in healthcare and No. 11 in food. "The Best Countries rankings draw on U.S. News' expertise and global authority in measuring complex institutions, such as colleges and hospitals," said Eric Gertler, executive chairman at U.S. News. "The report arms citizens, thought leaders, business executives and government officials with the data to evaluate the global standings of their nations and leadership." Key Findings in the 2019 Best Countries Report : Tumultuous news cycles have made an impact on global opinions regarding media and world safety. Sixty-three percent of people agree that there are no more objective news sources, and 66 percent say internet news and content is dividing us rather than uniting us. Additionally, more than 50 percent agree the world has worsened in the last year. With data privacy scandals at the forefront of people's minds, 77 percent of respondents agree that their internet privacy is at risk. However, slightly more than half of respondents trust private companies to keep their personal data safe, and 58 percent generally trust private companies more than the government. Further, more than 80 percent of those surveyed agree that CEOs and business leaders need to be vocal about their views on societal issues. Japan rises to the No. 2 spot overall as the world anticipates the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The country is perceived as the most forward-looking, and for the first time, ranks as No. 1 for entrepreneurship. The rest of the top five finds Switzerland – perceived as an innovative country – at No. 1 again, with Canada, Germany and the U.K. following Japan, respectively. For the second year in a row, the U.S. ranks at No. 8 overall. However, the world's level of trust in the U.S. continues to decline with the nation now at No. 27 for perceptions of trustworthiness. Perceptions of the U.S. as a country that cares about human rights have also fallen. While these might be signs that President Donald Trump's strategy on the world stage may not be working, the U.S. is still perceived as No. 1 in power, followed closely by Russia at No. 2. Nordic countries maintain their strong standing in the overall ranking, with Sweden and Norway both in the top 10 overall. At No. 6 overall, Sweden is the best country for women, to raise children and for green-living. Norway moves up to No. 9 overall, seeing increases in the up-and-coming category and remains No. 1 in citizenship. Belgium makes its rankings debut at No. 17 overall, behind China and ahead of Italy, due to high marks for citizenship at No. 10 and quality of life at No. 11. Assessing perceptions of countries from North America to Europe to the Middle East, the report finds the U.K. is No. 1 for education, New Zealand is the favorite for retirement, and Canada has the best quality of life. Luxembourg leads in the most business-friendly nations, United Arab Emirates is No. 1 for nations with up-and-coming economies, and Switzerland is the top to headquarter a corporation. "This report can help brands understand the potential power they have in connecting to their home nations, and help guide in managing their own branding," said Michael Sussman, CEO of BAV Group. The 2019 Best Countries ranking methodology relies on data gathered from a proprietary survey of more than 20,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens. "The report speaks to the value of having a strong global standing as nations compete for investment, tourists and influence in the same way companies compete for consumers' dollars," said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. The Best Countries rankings are the centerpiece of U.S. News' Best Countries portal, a platform combining in-depth news articles, interactive data visualization tools, video, photos and op-eds from global experts in government, business and academia. The platform is part of U.S. News' civic journalism initiative, which measures government progress locally, nationally and globally. Civic includes the Best States, Healthiest Communities and Cities portals. 2019 Best Countries Rankings *See the full rankings here Overall 1. Switzerland 2. Japan 3. Canada 4. Germany 5. United Kingdom 6. Sweden 7. Australia 8. United States 9. Norway 10. France To Start a Business 1. Thailand 2. India 3. China For Quality of Life 1. Canada 2. Sweden 3. Denmark Most Powerful 1. United States 2. Russia 3. China For Women 1. Sweden 2. Denmark 3. Canada For Education 1. United Kingdom 2. United States 3. Canada For Comfortable Retirement 1. New Zealand 2. Switzerland 3. Australia Follow the Best Countries coverage on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using #BestCountries. About U.S. News & World Report U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C. About BAV Group BAV Group is a global consultancy with expertise in consumer insights and brand marketing strategy. Using BrandAsset® Valuator, a proprietary brand management tool and global database of consumer perceptions of brands, BAV informs strategic and creative solutions that drive business results. Over 25 years, BAV has captured data and consumer insights on more than 60,000 brands in 50 countries around the world, evaluating 75 brand image and equity dimensions that matter. BAV Group is a unit of VMLY&R, a WPP company. Visit bavgroup.com to learn more. About the Wharton School Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 94,000 graduates. For more information, visit http:eicenter.wharton.upenn.edu. Logo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/226028/u_s__news___world_report_logo.jpg Logo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/323580/the_wharton_school_Logo.jpg Logo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/811007/BAV_Group_Logo.jpg PWR PWR

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