22 January 2013

The beauty contests among states have begun for the year.

Last week Freedom House published its Freedom in the World: 2013. This is the seventh year of the report. Countries are assessed to determine whether they are “free” rather than focusing on a pecking order. There are 195 nation states measured on the Freedom House index which considers levels of political rights and civil liberties. There are three more “free” countries this year than last year ( now 90 ) with 16 others showing notable gains, but 27 countries were found to be losing freedoms.

In the Pacific a notable gain was Tonga, which was assessed as having moved from partially free to being free. While Egypt, Libya and Côte d’Ivoire rose from Not Free to Partly Free, Mali with evident troubles at present fell two tiers, from Free to Not Free. Iran remains among the least free states.

And yesterday the Reputation Institute published its annual survey, this year involving 36,000 consumers in G8 countries, rating the reputation of 50 countries worldwide. The survey analyses these countries under 16 characteristics in three categories: advanced economy, appealing environment and effective government.

As in 2012, Canada is the most respected country with respondents rating it highly as a place to visit and to live, work and to study.
Australia took second place this year from Sweden, which is now third.

The “top ten” countries with the best reputation in 2013
1. Canada
2. Australia
3. Sweden
4. Switzerland
5. Norway
6. New Zealand
7. Finland
8. Denmark
9. Austria
10. Netherlands
Canada and New Zealand are the only non-European countries in the top 10.
Japan, ranked 12, is the most reputable Asian country.

Reputation Institution also explored which countries ”love themselves the most” – the self image score. New Zealanders and Australians have a higher self image than the perception held of them by other nationalities.

Top ten countries in self-perception in 2013
1. Australia
2. Norway
3. Denmark
4. New Zealand
5. Canada
6. Finland
7. Switzerland
8. Sweden
9. Indonesia
10. Singapore