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Switzerland ranked best country despite relatively low GDP per capita

In a new ranking by US News, Switzerland is described as a nation with cultural contributions disproportionate to its small size. Swiss citizens have won more Nobel Prizes and registered more patents per capita than any other nation.


© Janos Gaspar | - Click to enlarge

Switzerland takes first place by being a solid all rounder. Out of the 80 countries included, Switzerland ranks between 3rd and 30th across nine different groups of measures, with an average ranking of 13 across the nine groups. Swiss strengths include personal rights and freedom, business friendliness and quality of life.

Switzerland scores particularly highly on Citizenship (3rd) – a measure of civil rights and freedoms, Entrepreneurship (5th) – having what it takes to create new businesses, being Open for business (3rd) – company taxes and government transparency, and Quality of life (6th).

Switzerland’s worst scores were for Movers (30th) – a measure of growth potential, Heritage (26th) – particularly for food, and Adventure (20th) – a very low score for Sexy.

Switzerland had only the seventh highest per capita GDP, after adjusting for purchasing power. The figure was US$ 58,647. Qatar (133k), Luxembourg (100k), Singapore (85k), Norway (69k), UAE (67k) and Ireland (66k) were all well ahead of Switzerland on this measure. Swiss nominal GDP may be high but on bang for buck it is low.

Drilling into the detail, other areas where Switzerland did well were scenery (8.2), Respect for property rights (9.9), Trustworthiness (9.5), Well-distributed political power (9.4), Caring about the environment (9.4), Caring about human rights (9.2), Religious freedom (9.0), Gender equality (8.7), Cultural prestige (10.0), Cultural modernity (8.5), Happiness (8.2), Providing easy access to capital (9.6), Transparent business practices (8.6), Educated population (9.8), Connectedness to the rest of the world (8.9), Well-developed legal framework (10), Transparent government practices (9.0), Economic stability (10), Safety (10), Political stability (9.8), Family friendliness (8.5), Well-developed public education system (8.9), Well-developed public health system (9.3).

Areas of weakness were: Pleasant climate (2.8), Sexy (0.9), Culturally significant in terms of entertainment (1.3), Cultural influence (1.8), Food (2.1), Bureaucracy (1.0), Military strength (0.1), Political influence (1.7), Leadership (2.0), Affordability (0).


2017 Best Countries
  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. Japan

More on this:
US News survey – Switzerland (in English)

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