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Australia is the eighth best country in the world, or at least that's how it is perceived, according to a new international survey. Surveying approximately 21,000 people across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the report aims to gauge public perceptions of the world's biggest economies. Eighty countries are measured based on 75 different attributes and the findings indicate how perceptions were influenced by world events such as Brexit and the US election to environmental policy.

The study was conducted by the US News and World Report with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The attributes are then scored and placed into the broader subcategories of adventure, citizenship, cultural Influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power, and quality of life.

The scores in each category are weighted based on correlation with widespread prosperity measured using data from the International Monetary Fund.

While Australia ranked highly in quality of life category, and low in power, it was Switzerland that topped the report for best country in the world overall, which was favoured as a country to head a corporation and to retire.

Switzerland is viewed as a safe, strife-free model country. Prosperous and harmonious, it provides an inclusive society with a foreign population of 24 per cent and a high quality of life for its people.

Canada, Lonely Planet's best country to visit in 2017, took out the second slot, topping the fields in quality of life and education.

Britain, ranked number three (despite the Brexit vote), and scored highly in the cultural influence and power categories.

Similarly the US still ranked highly, slotting in the list at number seven (down from four in 2016). Despite it scoring lower across multiple categories, respondents still considered it to be the world's most powerful country, and the world's most influential.

While not having a high overall rating of 27, Russia was considered the second most powerful country in the world, followed by China (ranked 20 overall), Britain and Germany.

Russia was also ranked the second most influential country, with China as the third.

The "Trump slump" weighed heavily against the US throughout the report, with 70 per cent of the survey respondents saying they lost favour with US leadership after Trump's election win, as it represented a dangerous and unpredictable move in US foreign policy.

The survey found if the whole world had voted, 60 per cent would have chosen Hillary Clinton.

Support for Trump was highest in Russia (with 83 per cent) and China (54 per cent), with the lowest in Mexico (4.6 per cent) and South Korea (8.6 per cent).

Japan, perhaps the world's most forward-looking country, ranked number five for its bureaucratic, dynamic, entrepreneurial, innovative, and technological expertise. It also ranked highly in movers, which pertains to a country's future growth.

Sweden, the sixth ranked country, unsurprisingly came out tops in the best country for green living, but also ranked highly in citizenship, and it was the categories of cultural influence and power that ensured France remain in the top 10.

Lower performing countries often performed well in the power subranking, such as Iran, ranked 79 overall, was ranked 14 in power.

US News best countries in the world:

1. Switzerland

2. Canada

3. United Kingdom

4. Germany

5. Japan

6. Sweden

7. United States

8. Australia

9. France

10. Norway

11. Netherlands

12. Denmark

13. Finland

14. New Zealand

15. Singapore

16. Italy

17. Luxembourg

18. Austria

19. Spain

20. China



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