- The United States has again been ranked as the most powerful country in the world, according to analysis by US News & World Report.
- However, America slipped to 21st place for overall quality of life.
- David Reibstein, who led the research, said the drop was driven by concerns about safety.
The United States has been ranked the world’s most powerful country for the seventh time, according to the latest rankings from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and US News & World Report.
According to the analysis, the United States has also returned to the top five of the best countries overall, falling from sixth place in 2021 to fourth. It was outclassed by Switzerland, Germany and Canada, with Sweden moving up four places to fifth place.
“No country is considered a leader more than the United States,” said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School, who conducted the research.
“It’s very high in terms of economic influence, very high in terms of a strong military and very influential politically,” he added.
The rankings were calculated from responses given by more than 17,000 people in 36 countries.
Reibstein said the rankings were collected equally from three groups: the general population, high-income earners and business decision makers.
The strength of the US labor market this year has also boosted American happiness. In 2021, only 4% of respondents said they had a good labor market, but that figure has jumped to 96% this year.
“The most positive thing is a good labor market – which helps the economy and the quality of life,” Reibstein said.
The United States benefited from the strength of the labor market. In September, 263,000 jobs were added, beating the average estimate of 250,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Despite high employment opportunities, the United States still slipped from 20th to 21st place for overall quality of life.
Reibstein said the main reason for the drop was that only 11% of those polled considered the United States safe – a significant drop from last year’s figure of 38%.
“It’s pretty well known that we allow people to have guns and every time there’s a shooting in the United States it gets a lot of publicity,” he said.
“Between the school shootings and all the reported crime in the cities, it’s not perceived to be very safe, and perceived safety has gone down, leading to a lower quality of life.”
As of October 20, there have been 546 mass shootings in the country, according to the gun violence charity Archive.
In comparison with the United States, 95% of respondents consider Switzerland, voted the best country in the world, to be a safe nation.