The U.S. snagged the No. 5 spot overall in the 2023 Best Countries rankings, though its performance lagged in some categories.
People throughout the world have mixed feelings about the U.S., but the sheer size of the economic and military superpower make it hard to ignore. The United States has the largest economy in the world and spends more on national defense than any other nation. Its media and entertainment industry is also a behemoth, capturing $660 billion of the $2 trillion global market.
That kind of power and influence can be a magnet for criticism. But on the whole, people view the country positively. The U.S. is overall the No. 5 best country in the world, according to the 2023 Best Countries rankings, which were based on a survey of more than 17,000 people and gathered perceptions about 87 nations. That’s down just one spot from last year, when it was the No. 4 Best Country in the U.S. News rankings.
The United States ranked well in terms of perceptions about having a good job market (No. 3), being globally connected (No. 2) and being entrepreneurial (No. 1). But it placed in the bottom half of the rankings list for racial equity (No. 58) and affordability (No. 63). It was also considered among the most bureaucratic (No. 74) countries.
This is how the U.S. performed in this year’s rankings, by a countdown of the numbers:
- Is it possible there’s less joy in America these days? Some survey respondents thought so. The country fell out of the top 10 for a number of attributes, including for being fun – slipping from No. 10 to the No. 14 spot. It also dropped out of the top 10 for having an influential culture, religious freedom and well-distributed political power.
- U.K. citizens may not be too keen on America overall. According to survey results from people in the United Kingdom, the U.S. should be ranked the No. 10 best country overall, five spots lower than where it placed in the overall rankings.
- America ranks well across the majority of the attributes in the annual Best Countries rankings, but it dropped into the bottom 10 (No. 78) for just one attribute: cheap manufacturing costs. According to survey respondents, the U.S. has a reputation for being one of the more expensive countries to manufacture in.
- The U.S. didn’t place ninth in any category, but it was ranked the No. 19 best country for women, a list topped by Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
- America was also ranked the No. 19 best country in the social purpose subranking. Countries that top that list are known for qualities like embracing human rights, religious freedom, racial equity and gender equality, and for committing to climate goals.
- While many countries ranked the U.S. highly, some stood out as America’s biggest fans. Respondents in eight of the 36 countries the survey was fielded in – Nigeria, Japan, Italy, Poland, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Kenya – ranked America the No. 1 best country overall.
- Meanwhile, these eight countries were America’s biggest critics: Canada, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, China and Sweden. Among those countries, respondents from Sweden were the most critical, ranking the U.S. at No. 20, while respondents in Canada and Saudi Arabia placed the country at No. 11.
- Year over year, the U.S. was perceived to be even less racially equitable than last year, falling eight spots in the best countries for racial equity subranking, from No. 65 to No. 73.
- America was ranked the No. 7 most prestigious country, an attribute that respondents most strongly associated with the United Arab Emirates (No. 1), Switzerland (No. 2) and the United Kingdom (No. 3).
- U.S. respondents were positive about female leadership at the international level. In this year’s survey, about 70% of American respondents agreed with the statement, “Countries led by women tend to be better managed” – slightly higher than the 67% that agreed globally.
- Some U.S. politicians, including former President Donald Trump, have been critical of the United Nations. But the international organization aimed at upholding peace and security remains popular with many Americans. When asked whether the United Nations is beneficial to the world, 77.7% of American respondents agreed with the statement to some degree, slightly more than 76% globally.
- Generally, a relationship is strongest when admiration goes both ways. But sometimes feelings are unrequited. Six different countries – Sweden, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – gave the U.S. a rank at least five spots lower than the rank American respondents gave their countries.
- Year over year, the U.S. moved down six spots, from No. 53 to No. 59, in the open for business subranking, reflective of countries that have a reputation for cheap manufacturing costs, transparent government practices, a favorable tax environment and not being bureaucratic or corrupt. This was the largest subranking shift that America experienced between 2022 and 2023.
- The U.S. is ranked the No. 5 best country overall, following Switzerland, Canada, Sweden and Australia.
- Despite America’s relatively strong performance, it still had some critics. In five of the 36 countries surveyed, more than 60% of people agreed to some extent with the statement, “The U.S. is a threat to the world.” They were: China, Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand. Globally, only about 50% of respondents agreed with the statement.
- The U.S. was ranked the No. 4 most trendy, tech-savvy, innovative and fashionable by global respondents. It was also ranked fourth-best for its legal framework and for being culturally significant in entertainment.
- The U.S. ranked No. 3 in the cultural influence subranking.
- America was seen as the third-best country to start a career.
- The U.S. was ranked third across a number of attributes, including for having strong exports, a well-developed digital infrastructure, being progressive and having a good job market.
- The U.S. was the second-best country for a number of attributes: being connected to the rest of the world, a leader, politically influential, modern and economically influential, as well as for having a well-developed infrastructure and a strong military.
- It was also the No. 2 best country to invest in and the No. 2 best country for studying abroad.
- The U.S. was ranked first in several of the subrankings informing the overall rankings: agility, power and entrepreneurship.
- The U.S also ranked No. 1 on several companion lists, including the most forward-looking country, the best country for education and the most influential.
- Americaplaced No. 1 on the list for several attributes, being perceived as the most dynamic country and at the top of the heap for having strong international alliances, easy access to capital and strong consumer brands, along with being the most entrepreneurial.
Source : USNEWS