Every year the Reputation Institute releases a ranking of countries according to how they are perceived abroad. They measure each nation in three broad dimensions – advanced economy, appealing environment, and effective government. The economy deals with how people perceive products, brands, and technology from that country. Is the workforce reliable? Are products good quality? The environment deals with everything from the friendliness of the people to how beautiful the country is. And finally the government dimension rates how safe people would feel there, what their perceptions of social and economic policies are, how ethical the country is, and so forth. We’ll let the index do the talking though, as these are the 25 most respected countries in the world.
Although it is only recognized as a nation by 22 other countries (primarily due to political reasons involving mainland China), unlike its larger half Taiwan is seen as having high press freedom, economic freedom, and human development.
As the first former Eastern block state to become a developed economy, this current EU country has led the way. Today its economy and political systems are seen as a model for other nations that are trying to make the shift.
Although the Czech Republic has been made famous for the Prague Spring, it was Poland that ushered in Europe’s first post-communist government. Since then it has made great strides. In 2009 when the rest of Europe was having economic difficulties, Poland was the only country experiencing growth.
So lets get the negatives out of the way. Although the United States’ reputation abroad was slightly improved under the Obama administration, due to continued wars, spying, and a general sense of overreach/imperialism, the United States has managed to isolate even some of its allies. Furthermore, it has a reputation for violence, lack of safety, poor healthcare coverage, and massive inequality. With that said, the United States is still seen as the “melting pot” and “land of opportunity”. So, although there are 21 countries that are seen as more “respectable”, the US still has a lot going for it. And given the amount of immigration, the world seems to have cast its vote with its feet.
Popular as a tourist destination, Thailand is one of a few Asian countries on our list. It tended to score high in the appealing environment category (natural beauty, friendliness, etc)