Popularity Contest

Germany No Longer Best Country in the World

Bierzeltauftritt Kanzlerin Angela Merkel
Love for Germany isn't what it was. Source: Peter Kneffel/DPA

Germany has fallen from its top spot in the U.S. News Best Countries Rankings, overtaken by the United Kingdom, Canada and Switzerland, which took first place.

Switzerland was ranked for the first time this year, scoring highly on business and human rights, and was particularly admired by respondents in Europe and the Americas.

The annual survey asks 21,000 people from 36 countries around the world to rank 80 countries on areas including business, adventure and quality of life.

Germany took the top spot for entrepreneurship and was ranked highly for quality of life, but slipped on citizenship. It hasn’t fallen out of favor with Asian respondents, who still ranked Germany the best country in the world, with the United States coming in second.

But for the rest of the world, the new U.S. presidency seems to have taken a toll on the country’s global image. Nearly three quarters of respondents lost respect for the U.S because of the toxic 2016 presidential campaign, which 60 percent would have liked to see Hillary Clinton win.

The United States fell from number four to seven in the overall rankings. It was still ranked as the world’s most powerful country, but the gap between the United States and runner-up Russia narrowed to the brink of parity.

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