Germany maintains top “nation brand” ranking, Canada and Japan overtake the UK to round out the top three

2021 Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index: Canada and Japan overtake the U.K. to round out the top three; U.S. sees reputational gains from 2020.

The author(s)

  • Jason McGrath Senior Vice President, Head of US Corporate Reputation
  • Moriya Frankel Senior Research Analyst, Reputation and Nation Brands Index
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2021 is marked by overall more positive perceptions, and some top-10 NBI nations are benefiting from the movement, as the softening of Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM (NBI) scores across all countries witnessed in 2020 is reversed. Germany retains its top position in the 2021 Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM (NBI) for the fifth year in a row, but there have been some gains and losses among the top-10 rankings:

  • Italy’s ranking jumps from sixth to fourth, and the United States advances from 10th to eighth.
  • The United Kingdom, which was ranked in second place last year, drops to fifth; France, Sweden, and Australia all drop one spot.

Top 10 ranking nation brands index | Ipsos

Germany preserves its top ranking in overall NBI

Germany ranks in first place out of 60 countries on the Nation Brands Index, for the seventh time overall and fifth year in a row. Germany is the highest ranked NBI nation in 2008, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. With another first place ranking this year, Germany has now tied the United States’ record of seven years as the top NBI nation. Germany’s reputational strengths lie on the Exports, Immigration and Investment, Governance, and Culture categories. Global respondents feel particularly positive about buying German products, the appeal of investing in German businesses, the employability of German people, the German government’s work to fight poverty, and exceling in sports, placing Germany in the top-two in all five categories in 2021.

Canada’s top marks on governance, people, and immigration and investment

For the past couple of years, Canada has rounded out the top three, landing in third place. NBI 2021 is the first time that Canada has moved up to second place. First place rankings on the Governance, People, and Immigration and Investment indices, as well as relatively steady rankings on Exports, Tourism, and Culture contributed to Canada’s record ranking in 2021.

The United Kingdom’s ranking declines

The United Kingdom’s reputation remains positive overall, even though its ranking fell from second to fifth in 2021. The United Kingdom’s reputational strengths are on Exports, Culture, and Immigration and Investment – largely driven by positive perceptions of the UK’s contributions to science and technology, its sports and contemporary culture, and strong educational qualifications. Conversely, the United Kingdom’s relative reputation weaknesses are on People and Governance – notably on the perceptions of the welcoming nature of its people and protecting the environment.

The United States reputation slowly recovers

The United States had one of the most notable declines on overall NBI in 2020, dropping from sixth in 2019 to 10th. Its fall was triggered by sharp decreases on Governance, Tourism, and Immigration and Investment. A year later, despite the pandemic still being very much prevalent in the U.S., a wide political divide in society, and persistent vaccine hesitancy, the United States reputation has begun to rebound and improved on each of these categories.

Japan and Italy climb in ranking

Japan and Italy are two nations in the top 10 with noteworthy improvements on the overall NBI rank. Japan makes its debut in the top three for the first time since 2018 and has climbed from fourth in 2020 to third this year with positive perceptions on Exports, Tourism, Culture, and People. Italy advances from sixth to fourth place with strong opinions on its Culture, Tourism, and People.

Desire to visit increases

The overall intensity in desire to visit countries around the world – if money was no object – has grown over time. A longitudinal analysis of 50 Nation Brands Index (NBI) countries between 2015 and 2020, and 60 measured nations in 2021, demonstrates how desire to travel declined between 2015-2016, increased between 2016-2018, only to decline again between 2018-2020. However, in 2021, levels of desire to visit have increased to its highest point.

Desire to Visit | Nation Brands Index | Ipsos

All 60 NBI nations scores and rankings

For the first time in Nation Brands Index history, the full list of nations rankings and scores is published to provide sufficient context for potential movement with the addition of 10 new countries. The global sample size has expanded from 20,000 interviews per year to 60,000 interviews per year. Within each panel country, this corresponds to an increased sample from 1,000 interviews to 3,000 interviews. The number of measured nations has also expanded, with 60 nations being measured in 2021, up from 50 in previous years. Even with these improvements, we retained methodological consistency with previous years to allow for consistent trending capabilities, new opportunities for comparative assessments, and depth of analysis.

How did your country rank?

2020 Rank* 2021 Rank NBI 2020 Score* 2021 Score

1

1

Germany

69.12

71.06

3

2

Canada

67.86

70.64

4

3

Japan

67.81

70.52

6

4

Italy

67.11

70.23

2

5

United Kingdom

68.15

70.08

5

6

France

67.59

70.00

7

7

Switzerland

66.68

69.76

10

8

United States

65.67

69.67

8

9

Sweden

65.83

69.04

9

10

Australia

65.76

68.55

11

11

Spain

64.91

67.87

14

12

Norway

64.06

67.50

13

13

Netherlands

64.09

66.61

12

14

New Zealand

64.13

66.58

16

15

Finland

62.62

66.15

15

16

Austria

62.62

66.11

17

17

Scotland

62.60

65.79

19

18

Belgium

61.52

64.85

18

19

Ireland

61.70

64.79

-

20

Iceland

-

63.92

20

21

Greece

60.42

63.88

21

22

Wales

59.78

62.50

23

23

South Korea

58.51

61.50

22

24

Northern Ireland

59.16

61.27

24

25

Singapore

58.07

60.82

25

26

Poland

57.27

59.50

26

27

Russia

56.80

59.06

29

28

Brazil

56.16

58.88

28

29

Argentina

56.37

58.84

27

30

Czech Republic

56.52

58.72

35

31

China

54.00

57.93

30

32

Hungary

55.82

57.79

32

33

Taiwan

55.14

57.78

31

34

Thailand

55.34

57.46

33

35

Mexico

54.90

57.45

36

36

Egypt

53.92

56.88

-

37

Slovakia

-

56.83

37

38

Turkey

53.87

56.38

39

39

Chile

53.32

55.90

34

40

India

54.03

55.57

38

40

Peru

53.44

55.57

-

42

Morocco

-

55.13

41

43

Indonesia

52.70

54.87

40

44

South Africa

53.18

54.84

42

45

United Arab Emirates

52.30

54.77

-

45

Latvia

-

54.77

-

47

Israel

-

54.11

43

48

Ukraine

52.14

54.00

-

49

Dominican Republic

-

53.82

46

50

Qatar

50.25

53.52

44

51

Panama

51.21

53.17

45

52

Colombia

51.15

52.91

-

53

Ecuador

-

52.83

-

54

Mongolia

-

52.23

47

55

Saudi Arabia

49.19

51.74

48

56

Kenya

49.11

51.52

-

57

Tanzania

-

50.99

49

58

Botswana

48.26

49.86

50

59

Nigeria

47.37

48.23

-

60

Palestine

-

46.73

*2020 NBI Index Scores and Ranks reflect a correction to the scores released in the 2020 Anholt-Ipsos NBI press release.  2020 scores and ranks were erroneously calculated using 22 panel country results as opposed to 20 panel countries for consistency in tracking.  This correction results in minor score changes of less than 1 point, as well as select ranking adjustments.

Read latest results

Read 2020 results

The author(s)

  • Jason McGrath Senior Vice President, Head of US Corporate Reputation
  • Moriya Frankel Senior Research Analyst, Reputation and Nation Brands Index

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