Canada has taken first place in the 2021 Best Countries Report, an analytical study conducted by U.S. News & World Report.
This is the first time Canada has claimed the top spot in the yearly ranking, having spent several years in the second and third positions.
Highlighted in the 2021 report is that Canada ranked first in sub-rankings, including quality of life and social purpose, meaning that it is seen as “a stable and safe society in which individuals [and business] can develop and prosper, and is open, fair and equitable.”
Canada beat 78 other countries for first place, including Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Australia, which respectively rounded out the top five.
Canada Ranking Measured Across a Variety of Metrics
The 2021 report evaluated 79 nations worldwide using 76 different attributes and considers how countries are perceived, economics, military presence, quality of life and quality of education. Two new attributes—social purpose and agility—were added to this year’s evaluation. The report named perceived agility as carrying the most weight in this year’s evaluation, as the strongest factor for per capita GDP variations and highlighting the importance of a nation’s perception as adaptable, progressive and responsive.
Strength in Inclusion and Diversity
According to the report, Canada is globally perceived as one of the most socially just nations, placing a high value on racial and gender equality, human rights and racial and ethnic diversity.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has long recognized that diversity is one of its greatest strengths.
The province is recognized for its business friendliness, human capital, welcoming immigration policies and status as an innovation hub. Ontario’s capital city of Toronto was recently praised as a global city of the future.
Ontario’s spirit of inclusion and diversity contributes to the high quality of life enjoyed by Ontarians. World-class infrastructure, top-quality, universal single-payer health care and an excellent education system that includes some of the top universities and colleges in the world mean that the province develops and attracts a stream of high-quality talent to meet the ever-evolving needs of the business landscape.
Highly Skilled Talent
Canadians believe that a country with access to high-quality education is a country where opportunity and prosperity will thrive.
These values were reflected in a recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study, which found Canada to be the most educated country globally. Nearly 57% of adult Canadians have earned a post-secondary education. In Ontario, this number is an astounding 70%.
Not only do Canadians have excellent access to higher education, but Canada is also home to some of the finest post-secondary institutions in the world, many of them located in Ontario. The province boasts globally ranked institutions such as the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Queen’s University.
Altogether, Ontario produces almost 55,000 STEM graduates per year, resulting in a knowledgeable, skilled, talented and enthusiastic workforce on the cutting edge of innovation.
Below are some of the rankings from the 2021 Best Countries Report:
Best Overall Country
Quality of Life
3. New Zealand
5. The Netherlands
3. New Zealand
5. The Netherlands
1. United States
Open for Business (most business-friendly)