It’s official, Australia is a better country than the US

Looking up.
Looking up.
Image: Reuters/Jason Reed
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Davos, Switzerland

The results are in: Australia is better than the US. That’s according to the latest “Best Countries” report, compiled by US News & World Report, Y&R’s BAV Group, and the Wharton Business School.

The US now sits in eighth place in the ranking of 80 countries for economic influence, power, and quality of life. It’s down one spot from last year, trading places with Australia. (The US was fourth place in 2016.)

Notable demerits against America in the latest report were its scores for being “open for business” and a “mover,” a index that evaluates whether an economy is “different, distinctive, dynamic and unique.” A year after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, perceptions of the US as being “politically stable, democratic and having an open travel policy” have suffered, but the country retained its rank as the most powerful of the bunch (which only accounts for 7% of a country’s overall score).

In the third year of the report, another noteworthy country that slipped in the rankings was the UK. Britain dropped a spot to fourth, relinquishing third place to Germany. The UK’s decline was down to “a growing lack of confidence in its economic strength post-Brexit,” according to the report.

The ambitiously branded report is based on an in-depth survey of 21,000 people around the world, who are asked to judge how 65 different indicators can be attributed to a country. For the second year running Switzerland came out on top as the “best country” in the world. This is sure to go down well at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, where the report was presented today.

Although Switzerland ranks highest overall, digging into the rankings it scores low marks for adventure and cultural influence. So if you’re seeking a more adventurous locale, head to Brazil, which topped that sub-ranking. For the best quality of life, look to Canada; for a good education, the UK; and for the most comfortable retirement, New Zealand.