Czech Republic drops to 45th place in US News’ Best Country ranking

While the country generally makes it into the top half of similar rankings, it has always scored poorly in this one.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 14.04.2021 16:49 (updated on 14.04.2021)

The Czech Republic was ranked 45th out of 78 global countries by magazine US News and World Report. The 2021 Best Countries ranking was heavily weighted toward the business and economy, but also included social and cultural factors. The score runs against the results of similar rankings, which tend to see the country more favorably.

The top-ranked country was Canada, reaching number one for the first time after having been at number two or three since the rankings began in 2016. It followed by Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. The lowest-ranked country, at 78th place, was Iraq, with El Salvador at 77th. Serbia at 76th and Belarus at 75th.

The rankings seek to examine a nation's worth beyond hard metrics. “Behind a country's wealth and success are the policies that create possibilities, the people that drive the effort and the history that shapes the environment and perspective,” US News said, adding that globalization has expanded a country's presence beyond its physical borders.

The list looked at 76 attributes grouped into 10 differently weighted subrankings: adventure, agility, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power, social purpose, and quality of life.

The Czech Republic is at its lowest level since the ranking began. It dropped several placed from the previous ranking in 2020, when it has been in 37th place. It had been as high as 33rd in 2018. No specific reasons for the drop in score were stated.

For the 2021 ranking, the Czech Republic scored highest in social purpose, coming in 23rd worldwide. This tracks among other things racial equality, commitments to social justice and climate goals, and caring about animal rights. The country also came in 27th in quality of life, which looks at access to food and housing, quality education, health care, and employment. It also includes intangibles such as job security, political stability, individual freedom, and environmental quality.

For all other subrankings, the country was not in the top 30, coming 31st in entrepreneurship, 34th in agility, 45th in heritage, and 48th in adventure. The country did particularly poorly in being open for business, at 54th, cultural influence, at 56th, and power, at 66th.

Of the Visegrad Four countries, only Poland was ahead of the Czech Republic, at 43rd place, while Hungary was 48th and Slovakia was 67th. Neighboring Austria was 21st and Germany, as previously mentioned, was third.

The report was made by US News in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It is based on a survey that asked more than 17,000 people from four regions to assess perceptions of 78 countries on 76 different metrics.

While the Czech Republic did not do so well on this ranking, it has scored highly in others. Recently, the country came in 18th place in the World Happiness Index, based on a three-year average, and for 2020 alone was at 16th place. It was the world's second-best country for expats to work in, according to a 2020 survey by networking group Internations.

Another 2020 survey by information service MoverDB placed the country 15th for a place to move to in a post-Covid world. A 2020 quality of life report by compiled by consulting firm Deloitte with the non-profit Social Progress Imperative put the Czech Republic in 25th place out of 163 surveyed countries. It was also ranked as the 10th best place in the world to raise a family by travel site Ashley & Lyric.

The capital city Prague not only ranks highly for humans. It was the fourth-best city for dogs, according to Berlin-based insurance startup Coya, scoring well for the number of dogs per inhabitant and the numbers of dog-friendly restaurants.

And of course the country continues to rank highly in beer consumption.