After maintaining the number one spot in the Nation Brands Index since 2009, the United States’ popularity has dropped, giving Germany the title this year as the world’s most respected country.
20,125 interviews were conducted across 20 countries to measure global perception of the top 50 nations, based on “twenty-three different attributes that make up the six overall dimensions on which national image is based: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.”
What made Germany rise to the top of the list over the United States?
Simon Anholt, who created the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index in 2005, explained that “Germany appears to have benefited not only from the sports prowess it displayed on the world stage at the FIFA World Cup championship, but also by solidifying its perceived leadership in Europe through a robust economy and steady political stewardship. Germany’s score gains in the areas of ‘honest and competent government’, ‘investment climate’, and ‘social equality’”.
The U.S. on the other hand maintained the top spot in creativity, contemporary culture, and educational institutions, but saw a significant drop in its global peace and security ranking. This drop was most notable among voters in both Russia and Egypt as their perceptions of America unsurprisingly weren’t favorable as conflicts between the nations continue.
Die Welt commentator and blogger Alan Posener reflected on this rise in his country’s popularity, stating that “as a German of the baby boomer generation, I can remember a time when many Germans my age would speak English when abroad so as to hide their nationality. German children might find themselves ostracized on a Danish beach. German teens on a pilgrimage to Swinging London might be confronted by people giving them the Nazi salute… I’ve witnessed all this and more. So to advance from pariahs to pop stars, and for the right reasons, is quite something.”