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14 November 2013
Nation Brand Index 2013: latest findings

US voted top country for attracting talent and investment – but with a reducing lead

  • Canada, Germany, UK and Switzerland are in top 5
  • Colombia, Russia and Greece show greatest increase

Global citizens have voted the US as being the most attractive country for immigration and investment for the fourth year running. However, this position may be under threat, as its score has shown one of the biggest falls of any nation since last year. Only Egypt, India and Turkey show greater declines in this area. In contrast, Colombia has shown the biggest increase, followed by Russia and Greece.

These are just part of the findings of the annual Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, which tracks the global reputation of 50 countries by looking at perceptions of nations in the six areas: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

The survey stands out for the depth of research that goes into building the rankings. For example, the Immigration/Investment Index, which measures a country’s power to attract talent and capital, is built up by looking at each country’s global reputation for: its education quality; equal opportunity; quality of life; its investment environment; and whether people would consider working and living in that country

Anholt-GfK Nation Brand Index 2013: Immigration & Investment ranking​ ​ ​
Nation​ Score change
from 2012​
1​ United States​ -0.58​
2​ Canada​ -0.40​
3​ Germany​ -0.22​
4​ United Kingdom​ -0.28​
5​ Switzerland​ -0.21​
6​ France​ -0.26​
7​ Australia​ -0.11​
8​ Sweden​ 0.33​
9​ Japan​ -0.40​
10​ Italy​ -0.15​
---​ ---​​
​21 Brazil​ -0.26​
​25 Russia​ 1.04​
​31 China​ -0.14​
​42 India​ -0.78​

Professor Simon Anholt, independent policy advisor on national identity and reputation, comments, “Looking at just the investment opportunity scores, investment appeal over the last 12 months has suffered across the world. Almost all the top-10 nations have seen a decrease to some extent, with U.S., Canada, and Japan – all still strong players - leading the downward movement. Of the BRIC nations, Brazil, India and China have all seen noticeable losses on their investment appeal, while Russia, whose economic performance is largely anchored in its natural resources, is the only BRIC nation to show improvement on this attribute." 

Xiaoyan Zhao, Senior Vice President and Director of NBISM at GfK, comments,  “The U.S. is still the leader in the overall Immigration/Investment appeal, and still enjoys the top position for both quality of higher education and investment appeal. However, its leadership position is slipping due to loss of place in some areas that make up the Immigration/Investment Index. For example, Canada and Germany have both passed the U.S. for quality of life and Finland has jumped ahead of the U.S. to take the #10 position for equal opportunity in society.”

Anholt-GfK Nation Brand Index: Overal Brand Ranking (top 10 of 50 nations)​ ​
NBI rank​
Nation​ 2012
NBI rank
1​ United States​ 1​
2​ Germany​ 2​
3​ United Kingdom​ 3​
4​ France​ 4​
5​ Canada​ 5​
6​ Japan​ 6​
7​ Italy​ 7​
8​ Switzerland​ 8​
​9 Australia​ 9​
10​ Sweden​ 10​
---​ ---​ ---​
​20 Brazil​ 20​
​22 Russia​ 22​
​23 China​ 23​
​31 India​ 27​

Read more about the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index 


About the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index

Conducted annually, the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index measures the image of 50 countries, with respect to Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. For the 2013 study, a total of 20,445 online interviews were conducted in 20 developed and developing countries with adults age 18 or over. The most up-to-date online population parameters were used to weight the achieved sample in each country, to reflect key demographic characteristics such as age, gender and education of the 2013 online population in that count.  Fieldwork was conducted from July 25th to August 15th, 2013.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s leading research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:

About Professor Simon Anholt

Professor Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on national image and identity. He was Vice-Chair of the UK Government’s Public Diplomacy Board, and works as an independent policy advisor to more than 50 other national, regional, and city governments. Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands Index and the City Brands Index in 2005. He is the founder and Editor Emeritus of the quarterly journal Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author of ‘Brand New Justice’, ‘Brand America’, ‘Competitive Identity – the New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions’, and ‘Places’. Anholt was awarded the 2009 Nobels Colloquia Prize for Economics.


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Xiaoyan ZhaoSVP, Consulting