The world’s most and least reputable countries have been revealed in an annual study by the Reputation Institute, with happiness, peace and government integrity being key to measuring how positively they are perceived.

The “2016 Country RepTrak” is the world’s largest annual survey of country reputations, and is based on more than 58,000 rankings collected from G8 countries in the first quarter of the year. They analyse consumer perceptions of whether the country has an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government.

The institute says consumers who view a country as having a strong reputation are more likely to visit it or recommend living, working, investing or studying there. They will also be more likely to buy products from it.

“The 2016 Country RepTrak shows that traditional, objective measures, such as size and economic output have little bearing on the general public’s emotional connection to a nation,” says Nicolas Trad, executive partner at the Reputation Institute.

“Being welcoming, safe and beautiful are the top three drivers of a country’s reputation, and nations with a strong reputation are better positioned to welcome more tourists, increase exports, improve diplomacy and attract foreign investment, knowledge and talent.”

Key findings included Ireland entering the top ten and Belgium dropping out; France seeing the biggest improvement in perception, up 4.9 points on 2015; and Turkey experiencing the largest drop in reputation, down 7 points to 42.73 and 58th place overall.

Unfortunately, no countries were rated as “excellent” (identified by a Pulse score of 80 or higher). In fact 71 per cent of countries have a below-average reputation.

South Africa, Italy and Brazil are more critical of themselves than others are of them, while Russia, China, India and Turkey perceive themselves to be better than they are to outsiders.

Russia saw a boost of 4.7 points, but it still rates as “poor” with a Pulse score of 39.82, good enough for 65th place, ahead of only Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq.

There was good news, however, for Sweden, which claimed the top spot after two consecutive years in third place. The US came in at 28th place, while the UK was ranked 13th.

Which countries have the best reputation in the world?

  1. Sweden
  2. Canada
  3. Switzerland
  4. Australia
  5. Norway
  6. Finland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Ireland
  10. Netherlands

Which countries have the worst reputation in the world?

61. Kazakhstan
62. Nicaragua
63. Angola
64. Algeria
65. Russia
66. Nigeria
67. Saudi Arabia
68. Pakistan
69. Iran
70. Iraq

Read about why Iran could be your next holiday destination.

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