A new ranking puts Canada in third place, down from first last year.
Last year, Canada reigned supreme in the US News & World Report ranking of the best countries. But in 2022, Switzerland took first place for the fifth time, unseating Canada, which has only received top marks once.
The 2022 ranking relied primarily on quality of life as a deciding factor, but that still wasn't enough for Canada to overcome the Swiss. Despite Canada's higher marks in the category (it was third, Switzerland was fourth), the landlocked Alpine country scored better in "cultural influence," opportunities for "adventure," "open for business," and "movers," described in the methodology as "a metric [...] that is predictive of a country's future growth in terms of gross domestic product at purchasing power parity."
European countries dominated the list like last year, with Germany snagging second place.
Third-place Canada still beat the United States, but not by much: our neighbours to the south took fourth place, which perhaps isn't too surprising considering the ranking organization is headquartered there.
To determine which countries are the best, US News & World Report asked a pool of 17,000 people questions that focus on 73 "country attributes," or characteristics that might define a good, or great, nation.
Among these attributes are power, heritage and agility. Canada ranks much lower in heritage than it does overall, landing at number 28 in the category. In terms of power, which the report interprets as sway over international affairs, Canada ranks twelfth, but it's as high as third in terms of agility, which roughly means being adaptable in the face of obstacles.
These categories are as lofty as they are up to interpretation. The report is based on the thoughts and feelings of a group of mostly "elites" (as described by U.S. News) and business leaders, alongside samples that are more representative of the country's population.
"The Best Countries rankings are designed to help policymakers and residents identify how perceptions affect their country's standing among other nations," Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News, explained.
So, Switzerland may be perceived as the best country... but it could still secretly be Canada.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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