A survey about the perceptions of 80 countries has named Ghana the 69th ‘best country’ in the world.
The annual Best Countries rankings, a joint project by digital news service US News & World Report, marketing company Y&R and the Wharton School, a business school at the University of Pennsylvania.
The report ranks countries based on perceptions including citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, business climate and quality of life.
The country recorded its highest score; 4.2 out of 10 under the metric – Open for Business on account of its cheap manufacturing costs and other factors.
It’s lowest score 0.0 was recorded under; Entrepreneurship as a result of a perceived difficulty in acquiring capital.
Ghana which ranked 71 out of 80 in the 2018 edition of the same report.
Ghana ranked ahead of other African countries including Tunisia (72), Nigeria (74) and Angola (78) but behind Egypt (40) and South Africa (37).
Switzerland for the third consecutive year was top of the ranking.
Japan was second (three places from last year), while Canada came third. The top ten in the 2019 rankings was completed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, the United States, Norway and France.
The study and model used to score and rank countries were developed by BAV Group and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specifically professor David J. Reibstein, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.
A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified. Attributes by nation were presented in a survey of more than 20,000 people from across the globe. Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.
Each country was scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on a collection of individual survey responses. The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country’s attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalized to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.
Attributes were grouped into nine subrankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.
These thematic subrankings were formed by grouping country attributes that had similar global trends in survey responses. Subranking scores for each country were determined by averaging the scores that country received in each of the attributes comprising that subranking.
To determine the weight each subranking score had in the overall Best Countries score, each was correlated to 2017 gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita, a measure of inclusive prosperity, as reported by the International Monetary Fund. Subrankings that demonstrated a stronger relationship with the wealth metric were weighted more heavily, and all weights were standardized to total 100.
The Movers subranking represents a version of BAV’s BrandAsset Valuator Model of Brand Building, a metric developed by BAV that is predictive of a country’s future growth in terms of gross domestic product at purchasing power parity. Instead of one year of data, it was correlated to projected growth through 2022.
The subrankings, their weights in calculating the overall ranking score and the country attributes factored into each are below. The country attribute scores were equally weighted within each subranking. Subranking weights differ slightly from previous years, as they are tied to more recent gross domestic product data. They may not add up to precisely 100.00 due to rounding.
Adventure (2.00 percent): friendly, fun, pleasant climate, scenic, sexy
Citizenship (15.88 percent): cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, well-distributed political power
Cultural Influence (12.96 percent): culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy
Entrepreneurship (17.87 percent): connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business practices, well-developed infrastructure, well-developed legal framework
Heritage (1.13 percent): culturally accessible, has a rich history, has great food, many cultural attractions
Open for Business (11.08 percent): bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment, transparent government practices
Power (7.95 percent): a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances, strong military
Quality of Life (16.77 percent): a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system
To arrive at a country’s rank, we first calculated its standardized scores for each of the 65 country attributes. Each country received nine subrankingscores by averaging its scores for the country attributes grouped into that subranking. A country’s overall score reflects the weighted sum of its subranking scores. The subranking and overall scores were rescaled so that the top country in each category received a value of 100, and others were calculated as a proportion of that top score. Scores were ranked in descending order.
Additional lists rank the countries on more specific topics, such as the Best Countries for Women, the Best Countries to Raise Kids and the Best Countries for Education. Groups of relevant country attribute data were used to score and rank countries for these lists, but they do not affect the overall Best Countries score or ranking.
Choosing Survey Participants
To understand how countries are perceived, we endeavored to survey engaged citizens who are broadly representative of the global population, with an emphasis on those who would deem the topic and findings most relevant to their lives.
Self-identification in demographic questions distinguished respondents into three defined groups: informed elites – college educated individuals who consider themselves middle class or higher and who read or watch the news at least four days a week; business decision-makers – senior leaders in an organization or small business owners who employ others; and general public – adults at least 18 years old who were nationally representative of their country in terms of age and gender.
Individuals who were likely to fit these descriptions were targeted and sent the link to an online survey through Lightspeed GMI, a global market research and data collection firm. We aimed to gather an equal share of responses from each type of citizen.
A total of 20,301 individuals from 36 countries in four regions – the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa – were surveyed. Of the respondents, 11,238 were informed elites and 5,963 were business decision-makers. Some respondents were considered both informed elites and business decision-makers.
Regardless of demographics or participant type, each individual’s responses weighed equally in the results.
Data Source: About the Survey
Survey participants were given a random subset of countries and country attributes to consider. The combinations were presented in a grid form where participants were prompted to check off the characteristics they associated with each country. If a participant indicated that they were not familiar with a country, it was removed from their survey.
Each participant considered about half of the country attributes for about a third of the countries. In this way, each attribute and country pair was reviewed at least 270 times by each of the three types of survey participants in each of the four regions. The more times an attribute-country pair was checked off in the grid, the higher the attribute score was for that country.
In addition to considering countries in terms of attributes, each survey participant was asked to respond to a set of questions that gauge perceptions of the state of the world today on a variety of topics including the economy, politics, leadership and technology.
A set of standard demographic questions helped to screen for global diversity and equal weight among participant groups.
Collectively, the 80 countries in the report account for about 95 percent of global gross domestic product and represent more than 80 percent of the world’s population. They span the globe, covering Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America.