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Press release
Travel and Hospitality|United Kingdom|English

USA regains position as top nation brand from Germany

Nuremberg, 17.11.2015

After being pushed off the number one position last year by Germany, the USA has this year taken back its position at the top of the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM). UK, in 3rd place, edges closer to the top and is followed by France. Further down the ranking, Ukraine and Russia achieve large reputation gains, while Greece stands alone in suffering a steep drop.

The study measures global perceptions of 50 developed and developing countries – and is unmatched in the level of detail on which the nation ranking is judged. The study asks questions about 23 different national attributes, which are then combined into six overall dimensions on which the national image is based. Those are: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.

Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM
Overall Brand Ranking 2015 (Top 10 of 50 Nations)  ​ ​
2015 rank ​Country ​2014 rank
​1 United States​ ​2
​2 ​Germany ​1
​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

“This year’s results stand as a reminder that, although the images of countries are incredibly stable, changes can and do take place - particularly when people around the world sense that countries are contributing noticeably more or less to humanity and the planet. It’s their perceived impact on the world that affects countries’ reputation far more than their assets or achievements." comments Professor Simon Anholt, the independent policy advisor who created the Nation Brands IndexSM in 2005.

"Despite its continued perceived leadership in Europe, Germany has fallen back to second place, largely as a result of losing the gains it made last year. On top of that, Germany also lost ground on ‘governance’ (which incorporates both international and domestic behaviors) following its high-profile stance on European challenges such as immigration and struggling Eurozone economies. In particular, Russia’s perceptions of Germany’s governance dropped significantly, following Germany’s support of anti-Russian sanctions.”

The rest of the top ten ranking remains in the same order as last year, but with certain nations continuing to close in on the one ahead.

UK, steady in 3rd place, has moved closer to the top nations and is followed by France in 4th place and Canada in 5th. Japan and Italy, who hold 6th and 7th places respectively, also both showed stronger than average performance, increasing the pressure on the top five nations.

Greece, a nation facing chronic economic issues, struggles to maintain its image, with notable falls across all indices. This means that it has slipped one place to 21st position in the overall ranking, while Brazil moves up to 20th.

Looking outside the top 20 nations, both Russia and Ukraine have seen impressive gains on all six indices that make up the overall NBISM ranking. Russia has risen from 25th last year to 22nd this year, overtaking China, Singapore and Argentina, while Ukraine has moved from 48th to 46th, overtaking Kenya and Qatar. This change follows a slowing of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, with both nations seeing their greatest boosts coming from their governance scores and – in particular – improved perceptions of their behavior in the areas of international peace and security.

In fact, the conflict’s easing appears to be improving the image of the region as a whole: the Czech Republic (30th last year, now 28th) has edged ahead in the rankings. And Poland (steady in 26th place) and, to a lesser extent, Hungary (28th last year, now 29th due to being overtaken by Czech Republic) also raised their scores somewhat. Turkey increased its rating, but not enough to prevent it being overtaken by two Asia-Pacific nations, Thailand and Taiwan, so that it now holds 34th place.

Vadim Volos, GfK’s senior vice president of public affairs and consulting, and head of NBISM at GfK, comments, “A country’s global reputation can make a critical difference to the success of its business, trade and tourism efforts, as well as its diplomatic and cultural relations with other nations. Our clients depend on the NBISM study because it is unbeaten in the depth of information that is included in forming the ranking – making it the most thorough and robust monitor of national reputation available.”


About the Anholt-GfK Nations Brand IndexSM 2015

Conducted annually, the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM measures the image of 50 countries, with respect to Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment. For the 2015 study, a total of 20,342 interviews were conducted in 20 major developed and developing countries that play important and diverse roles in international relations, trade and the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities. Interviews were conducted online with adults aged 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 2015 online population in that country.  Additionally, in the U.S., the UK, South Africa, India, and Brazil, race/ethnicity has been used for sample balancing. The report reflects the views and opinions of online populations in the 20 countries surveyed. Fieldwork was conducted from July 9 to July 27 2015 (extended to July 28 in Egypt and South Korea).

The 50 countries included in NBISM 2015 are:

North America: The U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico

Western Europe: The UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Greece, Flanders*, Belgium*

Central/Eastern Europe: Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Ukraine

Asia-Pacific: Japan, South Korea, China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand

Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador

Middle East/Africa: United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar.

*Nations new to the NBISM 2015. Two nations measured in 2014 but not in 2015 are Norway and Jamaica.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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