Canada Tops Country Reputation Rankings; US Finishes 38th

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Canada has the best reputation of any of the 55 countries included in a 2017 ranking of the world’s most reputable countries. Over the course of the past six years, Canada has finished in first place four times and in second place twice, last year to Sweden and in 2014 to Switzerland.

The United States finished in 38th place, right behind Mexico and just ahead of Venezuela.

According to The Reputation Institute, which released its 2017 country reputation study on Thursday, there are four core dimensions to a country’s reputation — esteem, admiration, feeling, trust — and three key drivers of those core dimensions — an appealing environment, an effective government and an advanced economy.

To assign what The Reputation Institute calls its RepTrak score, the firm asked 39,000 respondents from the G8 countries — France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, United States, Canada, Russia, Japan — to react to 17 statements on each of the world’s 55 largest economies.

The 10 most reputable countries and their scores are:

  1. Canada: 82.8
  2. Switzerland: 82.8
  3. Sweden: 82.5
  4. Australia: 81.6
  5. New Zealand 81.1
  6. Norway: 81.1
  7. Finland: 80.3
  8. Denmark: 79.8
  9. Netherlands: 78.5
  10. Ireland: 77.4

The U.S. score was 54.7, nearer to the bottom (Iraq, 28.3) than the top.

According to the report, the country with the biggest drop in reputation this year was the United States, which slipped from a score of 59.5 to 54.7. The U.S. score had climbed from 51.4 in 2009 to a recent peak of 60.6 in 2013 and hovered around the 60 mark for four years before diving again this year.

The largest percentage decreases in the U.S. score were related to “effective government” (down 21.6%), “progressive social and economic policies” (down 11.8%), “ethical country” (down 11.0%) and “responsible participant in the global community” (down 9.2%). The United States scored best on “well-known brands” and “technology,” the two areas that carried the least weight in the ranking.

Russia, which reached a peak of 43, in 2016 slipped to a 2017 score of 40.3 due largely to a drop of 14.2% in its “ethical country” score.

China raised its reputation score from 47.3 in 2016 to 48.8, a new peak for the Middle Kingdom. The largest increases came in “favorable environment for business” (up 12.2%) while China’s “ethical country” score dropped by 4.4%.

The full report and methodology are available at The Reputation Institute website.