Switzerland Voted Best Country in the World, Canada #2, USA #5

Gregg Frantz | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There are so many great places around the world to ski that many of us may never have the opportunity to visit. The United States, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, and Argentina all have great ski resorts respectively. They boast great terrain, amazing snowpack, and long seasons that any snow enthusiast would want to visit. Finding which place is best to visit for someone can be difficult to decide.

However, the U.S. News & World Report’s annual report on Best Countries rankings can assist in choosing which country to visit. Switzerland is the top country in the world according to the 2023 report and it is the second year in a row it has made this list. The small-landlocked country has an area of 41,285 square kilometers, which is about twice the size of New Jersey, and has a population of 8.6 million.

Switzerland is the home to some of the best skiing on the planet with resorts like Verbier, Zermatt, and St. Moritz at the top of the list. The Swiss Alps encompass more than half of Switzerland’s whole area and there are hundreds of ski resorts throughout the country. The Alps provide Switzerland with top-notch ski resorts, amazing scenery, and great powder that any skier or rider would enjoy.

U.S. News and World Report on the Best Countries rankings and analysis are calculated with the global marketing communications company WPP and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The U.S. News utilizes sub-rankings to classify the overall Best Countries rankings since it first started doing the rankings in 2017.

most expensive, Gstaad, Switzerland
The town of Gstaad, Switzerland, with the iconic Gstaad Palace at its center. Photo Credit: Gstaad Palace.

These are the sub rankings according to U.S. News: 

Entrepreneurship (14.13%): 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 digital infrastructure, well-developed legal framework.

Quality of Life (14.12%): a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family-friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system.

Agility (14.02%): adaptable, dynamic, modern, progressive, and responsive.

Social Purpose (12.83%): cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, religious freedom, respect property rights, trustworthiness, well-distributed political power, racial equity, cares about animal rights, committed to climate goals, committed to social justice.

Movers (11.54%): different, distinctive, dynamic, unique.

Cultural Influence (10.44%): culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, has strong consumer brands, modern, prestigious, trendy.

Open for Business (9.43%): cheap manufacturing costs, favorable tax environment, bureaucratic, corrupt, transparent government practices.

Adventure (5.37%): friendly, fun, good for tourism, pleasant climate, scenic, sexy.

Power (5.00%): A leader, economically influential, has strong exports, politically influential, strong international alliances, strong military.

Heritage (3.13%): culturally accessible, has a rich history, has great food, many cultural attractions, many geographical attractions.

Sunlight on the top of the Matterhorn (4,478 m) and the reflection of the mountain’s east and north faces on the Stelli Lake. It is not the highest mountain in Switzerland, but the Matterhorn is one of the world’s most famous mountains. Photo Credit: Jean Schmitt

The 10 Best Countries in the World, According to U.S. News & World 2023 Report:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. Sweden
  4. Australia
  5. United States
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. New Zealand
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Netherlands

There was a total of 87 countries that were included in the rankings and they had to meet four benchmark criteria to be included in the study. Any country that did not meet all of the four benchmarks was not included in the study. Those four benchmarks according to U.S. News were:

  • Top 100 countries in terms of gross domestic product in any year from 2017 to 2021, based on World Bank data.
  • Top 100 countries in terms of foreign direct investment inflows in any year from 2017 to 2021, based on World Bank data.
  • Top 100 countries in terms of international tourism receipts or tourism arrivals in any year from 2017 to 2021, based on World Bank data.
  • Top 150 countries in the U.N.’s Human Development Index in any year from 2017 to 2021.
Zermatt, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Switzerland has ranked number one almost every year since 2017 and is in the top 25 for each of the 10 sub rankings which inform the overall Best Country rankings. The country was number six in entrepreneurship, number 6 in quality of life, number eight in social purpose, number eight in cultural influence, and number one in the open for business sub-ranking. Switzerland also made the list for the eighth happiest country in the world for 2023 according to the World Happiness Report.

Switzerland is known for its great skiing and mountaineering provided by the Alps and traditionally has been one of the strongest countries in alpine winter sports. It is also famous for its delicious chocolate, secretive banking system, luxury watches, aromatic cheese, and the adorable book character Heidi.

Best Countries was first launched in 2016 based on a model of a country’s brand evaluation created by former BAV Consulting CEO John Gerzema and University of Pennsylvania professor David Reibstein, tested by former BAV Group Senior Vice President Anna Blender, and validated by WPP senior advisor David Sable.

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