Sweden ranks the highest atop the latest list of the world's most reputable countries, in the 2016 Country RepTrak®, the world's largest annual survey of country reputations.

"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," said 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."

The Top 10 countries in the 2016 Country RepTrak® are: 

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

The 2016 Country RepTrak® scores and rankings are based on more than 58,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016. They measure consumer perceptions of whether the country has an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government. While few of the world's largest and most powerful countries earn strong reputations, scores closely align with rankings of other measurements, such as happiness, peace and government integrity.

"While Canada leads the world in external perceptions as a great place to study or visit, the research shows we can improve the perception of the nation as a business destination and desirable investment environment," said Daniel Tisch, President and CEO of Argyle Public Relationships, a leading Canadian expert in reputation management. "With a long-term program to build a better business brand, backed by tangible policy change and delivery of positive business experiences, Canada can regain its status as the world's most reputable nation.

Consumers who perceive a country as having a strong reputation report being more likely to visit it or to recommend living in, working in, investing in, studying in or buying products from, that country.

Other findings of the 2016 Country RepTrak® include:

  • Sweden claimed the top spot after two consecutive years in third place.
  • Ireland moved into the top 10, while Belgium dropped out.
  • No countries rated as "excellent" (identified by a Pulse score of 80 or higher).
  • Since 2015, France has seen the biggest improvement in reputation, up 4.9 points.
  • Russia also saw a significant reputation boost of 4.7 points, but it still rates as "poor" with a Pulse score of 39.82, good enough for 65th place on the list, ahead of only Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq.
  • Turkey saw the largest drop in reputation, down 7.0 points to 42.73 and 58th place overall.

The full list is at https://www.reputationinstitute.com/research/Country-RepTrak