The United States continues to lead the world in global image, according to GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, and leading policy advisor Simon Anholt. The 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, which measures the global image of 50 countries, shows the US holding the top spot for the third year in a row as the nation with the best overall reputation.

Among the top 10 countries, Germany held on to second place, the United Kingdom has overtaken France for third, and Australia has passed Switzerland to place eighth.

“The strengths of America's international standing continue to be innovation, opportunities and vibrancy,” said Simon Anholt, NBI founder. “While the country still does not make the top 10 list for the way it governs domestically and behaves globally, it has made significant improvements in the area of governance

"The tumultuous political and economic climate across Europe has actually benefited the US in that respect, and raised the country's governance ranking over Spain, Italy and Ireland."
The survey results are based on ratings of 50 nations by 20,337 respondents on questions in six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.

"The upper echelons of the NBI are still populated by Western market economies,” says Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice president and director of the NBI study at GfK. “Brazil, the highest ranked developing nation, is only ranked 20th among 50 nations.

“But the reputation world order is shifting. Among other things, the digital generation is affecting the momentum and trends. We see that the 'reputation haves' of our study have considerably less strength in the eyes of the digital generation. The future belongs to those who deliver for and bond with the younger generation."

Among developing nations, Egypt, undergoing economic and political stabilization, has dropped six positions to 33rd, making it one of the only two with a one-year dramatic change in position over the past four years. South Korea has been making steady gains, moving up to 27th this year from a rank of 30th in 2010 and 33rd in 2008. Cuba, while still ranking in the 40th, has recorded one of the two largest score gains this year, passing Saudi Arabia to hold 44th place.