Canada has ranked first place for best reputation in a study of 50 countries around the world.
Carried out by the Reputation Institute, an international research firm specialized in corporate reputation management, the study measured aspects such as trust, esteem, admiration, and good feelings, to gauge the public perception of a country.
Results from over 42,000 respondents worldwide showed that Canada scored well in all of these aspects.
“The study shows that a strong country reputation requires a solid performance across three different areas: having an advanced economy, an appealing environment, and an effective government,” Nicolas Georges Trad, executive partner of the Reputation Institute, said in a release.
Other countries that ranked in the top five were Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, and New Zealand. The lowest-ranked countries were Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq, while the United States and China ranked in the middle and lower tiers respectively.
Countries with strong reputations were linked to steady democracies, high GDP per capita, focus on active lifestyles, well-developed political systems, and perceived neutrality to international political upheavals.
The study also showed a strong correlation between a good reputation and financial stability.
“Reputation Institute found a very strong correlation between a country’s reputation and people’s willingness to visit there, buy its exported products and services, invest there, study there, or even live and work there,” the study reported.
“When you consider that a 10 percent increase in your country’s reputation leads to an 11 percent rise in your tourism receipts, and a 2 percent increase in your HDI [Human Development Index]—this is something both countries and companies might want to take note of,” said Kasper Nielsen, executive partner of the Reputation Institute.
One of the most notable findings was the significant decrease in the average score of all countries measured, suggesting a growing cynicism people have toward countries. The study related this to the global recession and a “general loss of faith in politics worldwide.”Another important finding was that being perceived as safe and as a country with friendly people are the most important attributes that drive a nation’s reputation.