The place to be Switzerland rated world's best country in US poll


Cinema fans watch a free movie at an open air film festival on a summer's night in Geneva last year

Cinema fans watch a free movie at an open air film festival on a summer's night in Geneva last year

(Keystone)

Switzerland is the best country in the world based on its attitude towards education, democracy, business and quality of life, according to an American poll.

Canada came second in the annual “best country” surveyexternal link of 60 nations released on Tuesday by US News & World Report, along with Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Britain was ranked third overall, followed by Germany and Japan. The United States came seventh.

More than 21,000 people – “business leaders, informed elites and general citizens” – were questioned. Survey categories included the most powerful country, the best country to invest in, and the best country for women, children and retirees.

Switzerland was ranked highly for citizenship (3rd), as an open place for business (3rd) and entrepreneurship (5th) and for its quality of life (6th). But it scored low in the categories heritage (‘countries that have shaped history with their culture’), ‘movers’ (up-and-coming economies) and adventure (20th in the ranking for being a ‘fun, friendly and sexy’ place

‘Neutrality, stability and diplomacy’

Sweden was ranked the best nation for women, followed by other Scandinavian countries Denmark and Norway. The Netherlands was fourth and Canada fifth. Scandinavia also scored highly when people were asked for the best country to raise children in. Sweden came first, followed by Denmark, Norway, Finland and Canada.

The ideal place to retire was New Zealand, the poll said, followed by Australia, Switzerland, Canada and Portugal.

“Our data captured widespread global concern for the social and geopolitical changes that cast many nations into uncertainty and turmoil,” said John Gerzema, chief executive of BAV Consulting.

“The new rankings reflect people’s desire to restore some sense of order by rewarding nations they perceive as championing neutrality, stability and diplomacy.”

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