America remains the most admired country globally

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NEW YORK – The United States continues to lead the world in global image, according to GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, and leading policy advisor Simon Anholt. Results from the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM) (NBI), which measures the global image of 50 countries, shows the United States holding the top spot for the third year in a row as the nation with the best overall reputation.

Among the top 10 countries, the United Kingdom has overtaken France for third place and Australia has passed Switzerland to place eighth. The United States’ score lead over second place Germany has widened compared to last year. “The strengths of America’s international standing continue to be innovation, opportunities and vibrancy. While the country still does not make the top 10 list for the way it governs domestically and behaves globally, it has made significant improvements in the area of governance,” said Simon Anholt, NBI founder and an independent advisor to over forty heads of state and heads of government around the world. “The tumultuous political and economic climate across Europe has actually benefited the U.S. in that respect, and raised the country’s governance ranking over Spain, Italy and Ireland.”

Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM)

Overall Brand Ranking

(Top 10 of 50 Nations)

2011
2010

1
United States
United States

2
Germany
Germany

3
United Kingdom
France

4
France
United Kingdom

5
Japan
Japan

6
Canada
Canada

7
Italy
Italy

8
Australia
Switzerland

9
Switzerland
Australia

10
Sweden
Sweden

Source: 2011 and 2010 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM)

The 2011 NBI survey was conducted from July 6th to July 25th in 20 major developed and developing countries that play important and diverse roles in international relations, trade, and the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities. The survey results are based on ratings of 50 nations by 20,337 respondents on questions in six categories: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. The overall NBI ranking is based on the average of these six scores.

“The upper echelons of the NBI are still populated by Western market economies. Brazil – the highest ranked developing nation – is only ranked 20th among 50 nations. The reputation world order is shifting. Among other things, the digital generation is affecting the momentum and trends,” said Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice president and director of the NBI study at GfK. “We see that the ‘reputation haves’ of our study have considerably less strength in the eyes of the digital generation. The future belongs to those who deliver for and bond with the younger generation.”

This year’s NBI study has seen significant developments from many parts of the world. Egypt, undergoing economic and political stabilization, has dropped six positions to 33rd, making it one of the only two with a one-year dramatic change in position over the past four years. South Korea has been making steady gains, moving up to 27th this year from a rank of 30th in 2010 and 33rd in 2008. Cuba, while still ranking in the 40th, has recorded one of the two largest score gains this year, passing Saudi Arabia to hold 44th place.

The study also asked respondents if a country’s influence on world trade and economics will grow stronger or weaker in the next 10 years. China, Japan, Germany, the United States and Canada are the top five growing influences. “There are remarkably different opinions across survey countries, however, about both the influence, as well as the positive impact of the influence, on one’s own country,” said Xiaoyan Zhao, “For example, Japanese respondents rank Japan last in terms of growing influence, in stark contrast to global citizens’ ranking of 2nd for the home of Toyota, Sony and Nintendo, a gloomy national mood reflecting years of domestic economic malaise.” Globally, Germany ranks first for positive influence on respondents’ own country.