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Report: Canada is the world’s #1 country

A new ranking from US News & World Report has named Canada the world's #1 country, based on business opportunity, quality of life and more.

The headline says it all. When you consider just about every factor – quality of life, business environment, cultural influence, social purpose – Canada is the best country in the world. It’s quite the claim, but it isn’t without merit.

The newest feather in Canada’s cap comes courtesy of US News & World Report, which releases an annual “Best Countries” report. The report ranks 78 countries across 10 categories and includes 25 sub-rankings and “Best For” lists. This is the first time that Canada has taken the overall top position and comes on the heels of an earlier report ranking Canada as the #1 destination for global talent.

Here are the top 10 countries on the list:

  1. Canada
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Switzerland
  5. Australia
  6. United States
  7. New Zealand
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Sweden
  10. The Netherlands

What factors played into Canada’s high score?

Our country ranks #1 for “quality of life” and “social purpose.” For the former, we scored high on a good job market, economic and political stability, public health and education systems, family friendliness and overall safety. For the latter, our highest scores were for racial equity, property rights, trustworthiness, gender equality, commitment to social justice and human rights, religious freedom and responsible distribution of political power.

Canada also ranked #3 for “open for business” – which includes transparency of government practices and favourability of tax environment – and #6 for “entrepreneurship,” which measures education levels, access to capital and global connectivity. We also ranked #3 for “agility,” which measures a country’s society on factors like progressiveness, responsiveness and adaptability.

Last but not least, Canada also scored high rankings on a number of the “Best For” lists, including Best Country to Headquarter a Corporation (#2), Best Country for Racial Equality (#2), Best Country for Women (#4), Best Country for Transparency (#2), Best Country for Education (#4), Best Country for Raising Kids (#5) and Best Country for a Comfortable Retirement (#6).

The US News & World Report “2021 Best Countries Report” is available here. It provides in-depth feature reporting on each individual country and further exploration of the rankings.

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