Canada has been gotten the top spot overall in the 2021 Best Countries Report. The report is a ranking and analysis project by U.S. News and World Report, BAV Group.

In Africa, Egypt topped at position 33, followed by Morocco at 38th position, South Africa at number 41 and Kenya at 53rd place.

This year, the model that powered the report has evolved in response to a transformational year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cultural, economic, political and technological influences remain important. 2 new categories were added this year; social purpose and agility. Together, this broad range of categories determines how the 78 countries studied are ranked on the world stage.

“Nations are impacted on many critical fronts by how they are perceived globally, from foreign relations to international business to tourism. These perceptions are ever-evolving in a rapidly changing world. The 2021 Best Countries analysis combines data and storytelling to explore how countries compare on a host of global issues,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News.

Key highlights from the 2021 Best Countries Report

1. Canada is the No. 1 overall country, for the first time. Japan and Germany came second and third respectively, while Switzerland, the previous No. 1 overall country, dropped to fourth. Australia remains fifth best overall country followed by the United States, which rises one position to sixth overall.
2. Canada ranks No. 1 in quality of life and social purpose. It is also perceived as having a good job market, caring about human rights and is committed to social justice.
3. Social justice is a global ambition. 80% of global citizens feel aligned with social justice, a broad term that refers to movements calling for addressing racial and gender inequities, while 76% also agree that a country is stronger when it is more racially and ethnically diverse.
4. On the specific topic of racial equality, the U.S. only manages to achieve 69th, behind both China and Iraq.
5. Women are viewed as effective leaders. 83% of global citizens believe there is a leadership crisis in the world today. The majority of respondents view women leaders in a positive light, as 68% agree that countries led by women tend to be better managed.
6. A nation’s perceived agility is the most important driver of strength in 2021. Across the countries measured, agility accounts for per capita GDP variations the most – underscoring that it is essential for any country to be seen as adaptable, progressive and responsive.
7. The influence of conspiracy theories. A majority of respondents (75%) agree that conspiracy theories are a threat to society. However, 39% believe that governments have made up the COVID-19 pandemic to control their citizens.