Top 50 Countries in the World

Canada is number two, so where does the U.S. rank?
00 - countries
Top 50 Countries in the World CC0 Creative Commons

Ranking the 50 best countries in the world is no easy feat.

The economy is a good place to start, followed by standard of living. Then factors such as cultural influence, power and even heritage come into the mix. In total there are 65 attributes a country wants to meet to finish high on the list.

Where do these criteria come from? A study undertaken annually by Y&R's BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, led by professor David J. Reibstein. The tally and information is then compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

It may be a bit much to list all 65 attributes, so thankfully they have been divided into nine categories:

  • Adventure (friendly, fun, etc.)
  • Citizenship (religious freedom, gender equality, etc.)
  • Cultural influence.
  • Entrepreneurship (educated population, infrastructure, etc.)
  • Heritage.
  • Movers.
  • Open for business (tax environment, manufacturing costs, etc.)
  • Power (military, political influence, etc.)
  • Quality of life.

These categories decided the overall order of the world's best countries. In total, 21,117 people were surveyed across the globe.

Four extra criteria were put in place to keep the results accurate. To make the list, the countries had to be:

  • In the top 100 countries for GDP in 2015 or 2014, according to World Bank data.
  • In the top 150 countries in the UN's Human Development Index from 2015 or 2014.
  • In the top 100 countries for foreign direct investment inflows, based on United Nations data, in 2014 or 2013.
  • In the top 100 countries for international tourism receipts in 2014 or top 100 for international tourism arrivals in 2013, based on World Bank data.

With that preamble out of the way, it's time to get stuck into the top 50 countries in the world.

80. Algeria. Overall score: 0 Getty Images