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Switzerland best country, U.S. powerful but not trustworthy

Christian Fernsby ▼ | January 15, 2020
While the U.S. is perceived as the most powerful country in the world, data shows it is not perceived as very trustworthy.
Countries   Switzerland
Switzerland, Canada and Japan maintain their dominance in the overall 2020 Best Countries Report, a ranking and analysis project by U.S. News and World Report, BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Topics: Switzerland best U.S.

This year, the project evaluated the perceptions of 73 nations across a range of categories, from economic influence and military might to education and quality of life, to determine which countries wield the most influence on a global scale.

Switzerland stays on top overall. Canada moves up to No. 2, and Japan is No. 3. Rounding out the top 5 are Germany and Australia.

The U.K. comes in at No. 6, and the U.S. rose one spot to No. 7. Respondents paint a bleak picture when asked about nations' trustworthiness. While the U.S. is perceived as the most powerful country in the world, data shows it is not perceived as very trustworthy.

Canada is perceived as the most trustworthy country, and has been since the first Best Countries report in 2016.

During that same time, perceptions of the U.S. as being trustworthy have steadily dropped to a record-low of 16.3 on a 100-point scale.

The U.K. also fell in this attribute, while Greece, South Korea and Spain improved.

There is a global consensus about the effect of climate change.

Most respondents (87%) agree that climate change is real.

Of the 36 countries surveyed, people in Russia agreed about climate change the least (71%), and Indonesia agreed the most (97%) along with African nations including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

But only 60% of respondents agree their country is effectively addressing its effects.

Global anxiety about technology persists.

Nearly three out of four people (74%) think large technology companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon should be limited, and about the same number agree that technology is displacing jobs.

The UK, Canada and Australia agree most with limiting large technology corporations.

In Japan, which is perceived as a technology powerhouse, just 31.5% agree that

echnology is displacing jobs and 55% agree that big tech should be limited. Gender equality is viewed favorably, but there is a gap between perception and reality.

Ninety percent of respondents agree that women should be entitled to the same rights as men.

However, when asked whether women actually do have the same economic opportunities as men in their countries, only 64% of respondents agreed.

A little more than two out of three people (69%) said they view traditional gender roles as important to a functioning society, and that perception is similar between men (73%) and women (66%).