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Press release
Social and Strategic Research|Brand and Customer Experience|Public Communications and Social Science|Australia|English

Australia ranked 9th overall in the Global National Branding Survey

Nuremberg, 16.11.2017

  • Australia has also ranked 2nd for People and 5th for Governance in the survey this year.
  • France leaps to second place for first time since 2009, while UK regains ground to remain third and Japan enters top five for first time since 2011
  • USA is only country showing overall decline in 2017 
  • Germany shows major gains in Governance, People, and Culture  

Nuremberg, November 16, 2017 – In the wake of a substantial drop in global perception of the USA, Germany retakes the top ranking in the latest Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM) study, while France climbs to second place. The UK has regained the ground it lost last year after the Brexit vote to hold onto third place, while Japan jumps into the top five for the first time since 2011, standing equal with Canada. 


2017 rank

2016 rank

Score change
2017 vs. 2016









United Kingdom












United States




















NBISM score changes: minor change: +/-0.26-0.50; medium: +/-0.51-1.00; large: > +/-1.00

USA loses ground in global perception of its Governance 

Of the 50 countries measured in the study, only the USA saw its overall NBI score drop this year. However, it still ranks among the top five nations for three of NBI’s six categories: namely, Culture (where the USA is ranked second), Exports (also second), and Immigration-Investment (fifth). But it fell from 19th place to 23rd for Governance, a notably poor score for one of the world’s leading countries. 

Professor Simon Anholt, who created the NBI study in 2005, comments, “The USA’s fall in the ‘Governance’ category suggests that we are witnessing a ‘Trump effect’, following President Trump’s focused political message of ‘America First’. However, Americans’ assessment of their own country is notably more positive this year than last. A similar fall in global perception of the USA was seen following the re-election of George W. Bush, when the USA fell to seventh place. Previously, America has never stayed outside the top ranking for more than a year at a time: it will be interesting to see whether this holds true in the 2018 ranking.”  

Germany gains in Governance, People, and Culture   

Germany, by contrast to the USA, enjoys a very balanced image across all six categories of the index, with notable improvements in global perception of its Culture (+1.07), Governance (+1.28), and People (+1.34). It ranks in the top five countries for all but one of the Index categories – that one being Tourism, where it is gaining ground, if not yet in the top five.

Germany’s overall score increases are boosted by significantly improved perceptions among Egyptians (+5.92), as well as among Russians (+2.26), Chinese (+2.17) and Italians (+2.06). Americans stand alone in ranking Germany outside the top-ten overall nation brands, placing it eleventh.    

UK regains the ground lost in 2016

Global perception of the UK has recovered following the significant decline seen in 2016 immediately after the Brexit vote. Its overall Index score is back to very nearly its 2015 level, with improvement across all six categories.

This puts it into the top five countries for Exports, Culture, Tourism and Immigration-Investment. The UK’s largest gains are for Governance (nearly two points) and People, suggesting that most countries have come to terms with the UK’s vote last year to leave the EU, and their perception has re-settled following that shock. 

France and Japan leap ahead in global perception of their national brands

Both France and Japan benefitted from score gains in their own right, as well as from the USA decline, allowing them to leap ahead in the overall ranking. 

France now stands in second place for the first time since 2009, up from fifth last year, with gains across all six categories. This is seen especially for Governance, where France’s improved score stands at double the average amount, and Immigration-Investment. It ranks first of all countries for global perception of its Culture, second for Tourism, and fifth for Exports. 

2017 has also been a banner year for Japan. It now stands in fourth place, equal with Canada, having gained its highest overall score in nearly a decade.  Japan is perceived most highly for Exports, where it comes ahead of all other countries, and also shows significant gains compared to the average for Immigration-Investment, Culture, and Governance. 

Vadim Volos, GfK’s senior vice president of public affairs and consulting, comments, “The Nation Brands Index allows our clients to understand where – and why - their nation stands in terms of their current image, momentum and potential. Changing global perception of a national brand is challenging and slow - but countries can influence biased or outdated perceptions by understanding the negative views and actively communicating actions and changes that address those.”

For more information about the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, please visit nation-brands.gfk.com

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Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index 2017 - top 5 countries by category

About the study

GfK conducted 20,185 interviews online in 20 panel countries with adults aged 18 or over. Data are weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics including age, gender and education of the 2017 online population in that country. Additionally, race/ethnicity has been used for sample balancing in the USA, UK, South Africa, India, and Brazil.  Fieldwork was conducted from 7-25 July 2017.

The 50 nations measured by the survey are as follows, listed by region:

  • North America: Canada, the U.S.
  • Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Norway*, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK
  • Central/Eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine*
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand 
  • Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru
  • Middle East/Africa: Botswana*, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates.

1Chinese respondents are asked to rank all nations except their own

* indicates nations newly added into the NBISM in 2017. Also, three nations (Cuba, Iran, and Kazakhstan) were measured in 2016 but not in 2017.

About Professor Simon Anholt

Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on national image and identity.  Professor Anholt was Vice-Chair of the UK Government’s Public Diplomacy Board, and works as an independent policy advisor to the Heads of State and Heads of Government of more than 50 other countries.  He developed the concept of the Nation Brands IndexSM and the City Brands IndexSM in 2005.  

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