How others see us: Perceptions of the UK abroad

Research conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the British Council finds the UK to be the most attractive country overall among young people in the G20 for the first time since 2016.

The author(s)

  • Rebecca Writer-Davies Public Affairs
  • Bridget Williams Public Affairs
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Between 7 February and 27 March 2020 Ipsos MORI undertook a survey of 20,612 18-34 year olds with a minimum of secondary education in the 19 G20 countries. This was the fourth wave of research conducted among this audience by Ipsos MORI for the British Council, with two previous waves conducted in 2016 (before and after the EU referendum) and a further wave in 2018.

This year’s study finds that the UK is now considered to be the most attractive country overall among young people in the G20. The UK has risen three ranks since 2018 and now ranks above countries such as Canada, Italy and Australia. The UK’s improved ranking is driven by drops in rating for Canada, Italy and Australia, while ratings for the UK have remained largely stable.

UK considered most attractive country in the G20 - Ipsos MORI and British Council

Canada continues to rate well across other key metrics, ranking first for trust in its people, government and institutions. The UK ranks joint first with Canada for trust in institutions, second for trust in people, and third for trust in government. Rankings are largely stable over time for the UK.

Although it is ranked as the most attractive country overall, the UK does not rank as the most attractive country on any of the detailed dimensions measured: it is the second most attractive country in which to study, the fourth most attractive country in which to do business, the fifth most attractive country to visit and the fifth most attractive source of arts and culture. As in 2018, the UK overall appears to be more attractive than the sum of its parts.

Measures of attractiveness of the UK among G20 - Ipsos MORI and British Council

  • For more information, please visit the British Council web site.
  • Tables are available on request via the blue form below.

Technical details

  • 20,612 online interviews were conducted with 18-34 year olds with a minimum of secondary education in 19 of the G20 countries
  • Interviews were conducted between 7 February and 27 March 2020
  • Quotas were set on gender and age, with a minimum number of completes required across region
  • Data has been weighted for each individual country to the known offline population proportions for age within gender, and each country has been given equal weighting within the G20 dataset

The author(s)

  • Rebecca Writer-Davies Public Affairs
  • Bridget Williams Public Affairs

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