Canada Takes Second Spot in a Survey of Best Countries

People around the world say Canadians enjoy a superior quality of life.


The 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best countries around the world has Canada in second place after Switzerland, up from third place in 2019. The ranking is based on a survey of how countries are perceived globally. More than 20,000 people around the world rated 73 countries according to 75 metrics in nine categories such as power, entrepreneurship, and cultural influence.

Canada was ranked first for quality of life, second in “leading the world by example,” and third in terms of business opportunity.

“Being a good global citizen—leading the world by example—is often the ingredient that turns a respected country into a lauded one,” the outlet commented, noting that Canada has generous social safety nets and offers affordable health care and education. “Countries that care about human rights, gender equality, and religious freedom are the nations held up by academics, advocates, and others as examples worth imitating.”

Canada first-place rating for quality of life is due to the high scores it earned for its job market, health care, and education. It also earned high scores for being economically stable and an ideal place to raise a family.

While the country ranked high in its care for human rights, the report noted that Canada still “faces national challenges related to the concerns of Indigenous people.”

There were some categories in which Canada got a low ranking, including affordability, military strength, and manufacturing costs. Oddly, Canada earned a score of 0 on 10 when respondents were asked whether it had a rich history, and asked how sexy we are, respondents gave us a score of 0.3.

After Switzerland and Canada, the top 10 countries were, in order, Japan, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Norway. China ranked 15th place and Russia 23rd. Lebanon ranked last.

“Despite being the foremost global power, the US still faces domestic challenges, including racial tensions, income inequality, and an increasingly polarized electorate,” the outlet wrote. “While national security is a concern, so too, is the debt incurred from wars and expenditures on an aging population. The US also leads the developed world in deaths due to firearms.”

Photo: iStock/HannamariaH.