What's the best country in the world? There are many criteria that can be applied to that question but one report claims to have found the answer.
The winner, according to the inaugural Best Countries report released Wednesday at the annual World Economic Forum, is Germany.
To reach this conclusion, the report examined approximately 60 nations, looking at factors that included sustainability, adventure, cultural influence, entrepreneurship and economic influence. More than 16,200 business leaders, high fliers and other members of the public were surveyed to gather the data.
The study is a joint project between U.S. News & World Report, New York-based strategic brand consultancy BAV Consulting and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. The group launched the Best Countries website in Davos to highlight the findings.
Although the United States came 4th overall, it is the most powerful country, according to the report.
"How a nation is perceived outside its borders is critical to its success," said Martin Sorrell, WPP's chief executive officer. Ad firm WPP is the parent company of BAV.
"Smart, thoughtful and responsible administrations pay attention to image and reputation, because a better image contributes towards more foreign direct investment, more tourism and a 'made-in' or 'created-in' premium,'" Sorrell said.
David Reibstein, a professor of marketing at the Wharton School, said the spending power of consumers in a country contributed to its ranking
Here are the U.S. News & World Report, BAV Consulting and Wharton School best countries rankings:
3. United Kingdom
4. United States