By Niraj Chokshi
The inaugural “Best Countries” ranking was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Here are the top 5 countries according to U.S. News & World Report. (The Washington Post)
The votes are in, America, and the best country in the world is …
(Drum roll, please.)
It’s Germany. Sorry, United States, you’re fourth — right behind third-ranked Britain and second-ranked Canada. But, hey, America beat Sweden!
That’s according to the inaugural “Best Countries” ranking from U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting. The ranking was officially unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
“Just as we have done with universities, hospitals and other institutions, our Best Countries portal will be a global homepage for stories and data to help citizens, business leaders and governments evaluate performance in a rapidly changing world,” Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News, said in a statement. The publication is known the world over for many of its rankings.
Germany secured its top spot for a number of reasons, its economy key among them. The country is also, as U.S. News notes in a country profile, home to low unemployment, popular around the world, known for its high-quality brands and adept at using soft power abroad. And U.S. News credits Germany’s leadership for its global rise.
“Germany’s ascendance as a world leader comes largely from the work of [Chancellor Angela] Merkel,” Drew writes. “Only the third German since World War II to hold the chancellorship for a decade or more, Merkel has shown decisive leadership on several issues. That is a change. Traditionally, Germans are consensus seekers who have chosen multilateral strategies over acting in a singularized manner.”
Naturally, the rankings prompted official responses from officials around the world.