Canada is named the number one country in the world in a 2021 Best Countries Report

Woman Holding Canadian Flag

For the first time, Canada takes the top overall spot as the number one country in the world in the 2021 Best Countries Report. After ranking second in 2020, Canada has surpassed Switzerland in the 2021 report followed by Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia.

The Best Countries report is a ranking and analysis project by US News & World Report; BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R; and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  This project uses qualitative and quantitative data, and features comprehensive news articles and commentary from global experts in business, economics, academia, and government. In total, 78 participating countries are studied and ranked, using storytelling and data to analyze responses to several global issues and citizen satisfaction. 

Two categories were added this year, and articulated through a model focused on COVID-19 response. Economics, Politics, Cultural Influence and Technology are key influencing subrankings, along with two new additions - Social Purpose and Agility.

Though Canada is in first place overall now, Canada has been in first place for a very important category: Quality of Life. For the sixth consecutive year, Canada is in first place for providing a good quality of life. The ranking is based on whether a country is affordable, has a good job market, is economically stable; is family friendly, has income equality; that it is politically stable, safe, has a well-developed public education system and a well-developed public health system.

A new subranking that replaces the Citizen category, Canada is also in first place for social purpose. This category is evaluated based on a country’s ability to create a sense of cultural cohesion by providing the ability to support the causes its citizens’ feel strongly about. Ranging from human rights to bodily autonomy or religious freedom, the project “evaluated ‘perceptions on participating countries’ advocacy for these causes, and complied them into a Social Purpose subranking”.

Here is a snapshot of some of the rankings from the 2021 Best Countries Report:

Best overall country

1. Canada

2. Japan

3. Germany

4. Switzerland

5. Australia

Quality of life

1. Canada

2. Denmark

3. New Zealand

4. Sweden

5. Netherlands

Entrepreneurship

1. Japan

2.Germany

3. United States

4. United Kingdom

5. South Korea

Social purpose

1. Canada

2. Denmark

3. New Zealand

4. Sweden

5. Netherlands

Cultural Influence

1. Italy

2. France

3. United States

4. United Kingdom

5. Japan

Open for business (most business-friendly)

1. Switzerland

2. Panama

3. Canada

4. Denmark

5. Sweden

Adventure (best to visit)

1. Brazil

2. Italy

3. Spain

4. Greece

5. Thailand

Power

1. United States

2. China

3. Russia

4. Germany

5. United Kingdom

Agility

1. United States

2. Australia

3. Canada

4. Germany

5. Singapore