Interestingly, Switzerland was not previously ranked when the inaugural list of the world’s best countries was released last year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Meanwhile, last year’s #1 country, Germany, fell back to the 4th overall spot in 2017.
Canada also came in #1 for Quality of Life for the second straight year as well as #4 for Citizenship (it was #2 in citizenship in 2016).
The methodology behind the rankings can be broken down as follows:
A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified. Attributes by nation were presented in a survey of more than 21,000 people from across the globe. Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.
The attributes were then placed into nine subcategories which combined to create the best country rankings. The subcategories and their overall contribution are:
Adventure (3.24 percent): friendly, fun, pleasant climate, scenic, sexy
Citizenship (16.95 percent): cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, well-distributed political power
Cultural Influence (12.93 percent): culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy
Entrepreneurship (17.42 percent): connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business
practices, well-developed infrastructure, well-developed legal framework
Heritage (3.17 percent): culturally accessible, has a rich history, has great food, many cultural attractions
Open for Business (11.99 percent): bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment, transparent government practices
Power (7.42 percent): a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances, strong military
Quality of Life (16.89 percent): a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system
In the three most heavily weighted categories, Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, and Quality of Life, Canada ranked #4, #7, and #1 respectively.