The 2018 Best Countries ranking methodology relies on data gathered from a proprietary survey of more than 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens.
In the overall rankings of 80 countries, Switzerland ranks 1st, followed by Canada (2nd) and Germany (3rd). The rankings are dominated by countries with more progressive social and environmental policies. Nordic nations – Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway – rank in the top 15 overall.
Switzerland also ranks the No. 1 country to headquarter a corporation, followed by Canada and Luxembourg. The country is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Credit Suisse, Nestle and Glencore and offers a business-friendly and innovative environment.
Overall, Switzerland achieves its top position as best country based on high scores in the following categories:
1. Open for business
Attributes: bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, level of corruption, favorable tax environment, transparent government practices
Attributes: cares about human rights and environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, well-distributed political power
Attributes: 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
4. Quality of Life
Attributes: a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education and health system
5. Cultural influence
Attributes: culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy
The Best Countries rankings continue to show us that just as brands must focus on a wide range of attributes to raise profiles and win over audiences, nations that are multidimensional and that reflect a wider range of qualities, such as innovation and compassion, have the brand appeal that propels them on the global stage. (David Sable, Y&R Global CEO)