U.S. falls to 8th in 2018 ranking of Best Countries

By Allen Cone
U.S. falls to 8th in 2018 ranking of Best Countries
A Palestinian protester burns the flag of the United States during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest in the west Bank city Ramallah, on December 7, 2017. A survey ranking the Best Countries in the world Tuesday cited growing unpopularity with the Trump administration. Photo by Shadi Hatem/EPA-EFE

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The United States dropped one spot to eighth place in this year's world ranking of countries by U.S. News and World Report.

Asst. Managing Editor Kevin Drew said the U.S. changes are "fueled by the world's perceptions of the country becoming less progressive and trustworthy, more politically unstable and a president who after just a year in office is far more unpopular than any other head of state or company CEO."


President Donald Trump took office one year ago, pledging to "Make America Great Again."

Switzerland retained the No. 1 spot on the Best Countries 2018 list, buoyed by its "reputation for citizenship and being open for business," Drew said. Canada also stays at No. 2, boosted by the "best quality of life, driven by high ratings for education, health care and public safety."

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Germany took the No. 3 spot from Britain, which fell to fourth -- followed by Japan, Sweden, Australia, the United States, France and the Netherlands.

The poll surveyed global citizens from four regions on perceptions of 80 countries involving 75 metrics.

The United States is still viewed as the most powerful nation, but it declined the most in the perceptions of respondents for countries with open travel policies -- likely a backlash of Trump's travel ban orders.


In the survey, the top issues are terrorism, income inequality and climate change.

Last year, the United States also dropped one position from sixth to seventh in the 2017 global poll.

In other findings, 87 percent of the respondents believe promoting diversity and tolerance is important and 84 percent agree that people can work through their individual differences.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the only world leaders with approval ratings ahead of CEOs that include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have the worst ratings.

The survey was conducted in partnership with global marketing communications company Y&R's brand strategy firm, BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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