For the third year running, Switzerland has come out top in the annual Best Countries rankings which looks at people's perceptions of 80 countries around the world.
The rankings are a joint project by digital news service US News & World Report, marketing company Y&R and the Wharton School, a business school at the University of Pennsylvania.
The 2019 rankings were based on a survey of just over 20,000 people comprising business leaders, ‘informed elites' and the general public in 36 countries.
According to the makers of the survey, the Best Countries project is designed to help citizens, business leaders and policymakers better understand how their nations are perceived on a world scale.
Japan came in second place in the 2019 edition (up three places from last year), while Canada came third. The top ten in the 2019 rankings was rounded out by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, the United States, Norway and France.
Where Switzerland did well
Switzerland scored particularly well on metrics related to ease of doing business, quality of life and leadership in innovation.
It achieved a perfect ten out of ten for both economic stability and political stability while the public health system scored 9.7 out of ten points – despite ongoing public debate over the soaring costs of compulsory health insurance premiums.
The education system was also marked highly by survey respondents, while the country got a score of 8.1 in terms of family friendliness.
In addition, Switzerland notched up full marks for access to capital and for its legal framework.
And where Switzerland didn't do so well
But residents won’t be surprised to learn the country didn't do as well on issues related to prices. It scored 0.1 out of 10 for ‘affordability’ and 0.0 points for ‘cheap manufacturing costs’.
Also on the negative side of the ledger, Switzerland is not perceived as ‘sexy’ (1.1 points) or ‘culturally significant in terms of entertainment’ (1.1 percent).
The survey also suggests Switzerland is struggling to differentiate itself or stake a place as a political powerhouse.
The country scored just 1.4 points for being political influential during a week when the world’s business and political elites are gathered in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum meeting.
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