In something only an American publication might attempt, Bangladesh has ranked 71st out of 85 countries in US News and World Report's Best Countries 2022 rankings.
Unlike most rankings and indices that aim to assess countries on some specific issue, like The Economist Intelligence Unit's Liveability Index or Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, this one - a joint venture between US News and World Report, the BAV Group, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania - claims to give you the best countries in the world outright.
It does so on the basis of evaluating countries across 73 different attributes grouped into 10 sub rankings, including Entrepreneurship, Agility (a country's adaptability to change) and Social Purpose (how "progressive, inclusive and committed to social justice"). Quality of Life was the most heavily weighted subranking this year, which was determined primarily by the most recent gross domestic product per capita data, according to the report released on September 27.
This is the first time Bangladesh has figured in the rankings - one of four new entrants in its 7th edition. In the overall 2022 Best Countries rankings, Switzerland reclaimed the top spot following a one-year hiatus following a one-year hiatus from Canada, which dropped to third, while Germany moved up one spot to second.
The United States and Sweden round out the top 5.
This is in fact the 5th time in seven years that Switzerland has come out on top. The country ranked No. 1 in the Open for Business subranking - which assesses countries by how business-friendly they're perceived to be - and in the top 5 for Quality of Life.
Alongside the US and Canada, the top 10 is made up of 6 Western European countries, and two countries from the Asia-Pacific (Japan and Australia) - arguably opening itself up to accusations of a "pro-Western bias".
Russia meanwhile dropped to No. 36 in the overall rankings - a drop of 12 places that is described as one of the steepest year-on-year declines in the project's history for a country in the top 50.
The rankings claim to be "an assessment of everything that shapes a country, from its quality of life to its cultural influence." The Cultural Influence subranking seeks to rank countries by their footprint in the world of fashion, art and entertainment.
Apart from the ones mentioned earlier, the subrankings include Adventure, about opportunities for fulfilling wanderlust, in which Brazil ranks first; Heritage, on how countries "have shaped history with their culture"; Movers, which looks at a country's resilience and momentum; and Power, which might be best explained by the fact that the U.S. is number one, scoring a full 100 out of 100.
Bangladesh does best in the Open for Business ("for capitalists and corporations") subranking, where its score of 56.3 ranks it 35th in the world - the highest it ranks in any of the subcategories.
It also punches above its weight in the Power category, ranking 44th, and fairly well for Quality of Life, landing at number 55.
Its worst performances come in the Adventure (#83), Agility (#80) and Social Purpose categories (#80).
The project is based on a global survey in which more than 17,000 people associated various countries with specific attributes, ranging from "dynamic" and "a leader" to "cares about human rights" and "committed to social justice." A total of 73 such attributes were grouped under the 10 sub-rankings.
"Having quality of life as the top subranking demonstrates that elements such as a good job market, affordability, political stability and well-developed health and education systems are playing an increasingly important role in shaping a country's global image," said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at US News, in comments accompanying the report.
The methodology is based on a proprietary survey in which more than 17,000 global citizens associated various countries with specific attributes, ranging from "dynamic" and "a leader" to "cares about human rights" and "committed to social justice." The survey contained 73 attributes in total and encompassed 85 countries.
The full rankings, along with all the sub-categories, can be viewed on the US News website. US News and World Report is an American media company that publishes news, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis. The company's rankings of American colleges and universities are popular with the general public worldwide, and influence application patterns.
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