Not only is it the land of maple syrup and ice hockey, but Canada can now lay claim to being the most respected country in the world. This is the fourth time in the past five years that the country has claimed top honours, after slipping to second place behind Switzerland last year. A recent poll has found that many foreigners consider Canada to have an effective government, a high level of development and the best quality of life over any country in the world.
The data was collected by the Reputation Institute's 2015 Country Reptrak Survey, which examines how countries are perceived across the globe. Ranked by an online panel of more than 48,000 people representing G8 countries, 55 nations are ranked according to 16 attributes. These include categories such as technology, use of public resources, social and economic policies, institutional environment and international perception.
While Canada ranked first, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia rounded out the top five. Canada reclaimed its top spot for the fourth time in five years, thanks in large part to its high quality of life
Most Respected Countries:
1. Canada - 78.1
2. Norway - 77.1
3. Sweden - 76.6
4. Switzerland - 76.4
5. Australia - 76.3
6. Finland - 75.1
7. New Zealand - 75
8. Denmark - 74.5
9. Netherlands - 73.7
10. Belgium - 72.3
Interestingly, the UK was nowhere to be found among the top 10, coming in at No 13. Ireland just missed out on a spot in the top 10, finishing in 11th place. The United States, on the other and, failed to crack the top 20, though its reputation has seemed to stabilise under the Obama administration.
Unsurprisingly, Russia's reputation shows a negative trend, damaged by the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea's annexation. According to the report, a country's overall reputation is 'an emotional perception constructed through direct experience, own communication, third parties' perspectives and generally accepted stereotypes.'
Reputation is important, as it impacts not only the likelihood of tourists visiting the country, but also the supportive behaviours of stakeholders in improving a country's economy through things like foreign direct investment. That's all to say that a nation's reputation tends to correspond less with its size or power and, perhaps unsurprisingly, more with the overall happiness of its citizens.