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These 20 countries set the global tone the most.

The U.S. News and World Report has released its annual "2017 Best Countries" study.

The media organization evaluated 80 countries across a range of criteria, from cultural history to citizenship and quality of life.

One of the key measure was "power," which determined how economically and politically influential a country is and how strong its international alliances and military are.

More than 21,000 business leaders, informed elites, and general citizens were surveyed with the goal of discovering how nations are perceived on a global scale.

The US was perceived as the most powerful, followed closely by Russia, with the UK coming in fourth. Other countries to make the list include Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel.

 

Check out the full list here:

 

20. Pakistan

Political instability, corruption, and struggles with extremism have hindered Pakistan's standing in the power ranking. In turn, the nation's growth has been stunted as its export-driven economy "falls short in attracting foreign investment," according to US News.

 

 

19. Sweden

Despite militaristic roots, Sweden has decided against heavily investing in its armed forces in favour of a commitment to human rights and sustainability. Its approach to the wellbeing of its citizens has earned it respect on the global stage but could contribute to its lack of power.

 

 

18. Italy

Although Italy faced a tumultuous political year with the shock resignation of former Prime Minister Matteo de Renzi and the rebuilding of its government, the country has held onto its title as one of the most powerful nations while also boasting the third largest economy in the Eurozone.


 

 

17. Australia

Despite ranking 17th for its power and global influence, Australia's highest place was in the quality of life category, where it came fourth.

 

 

16. India

For much of 2016, India, the world's largest democracy, was also home to the world's fastest-growing major economy. However, its recent cash crisis has been a blow to its economy, causing the country to lose 11 billionaires and 86% of its circulated cash.

 

 

15. Switzerland

The small European nation was named the best place in the world to live. In terms of GDP per capita, it's the 11th wealthiest nation and is extremely attractive to businesses thanks to its low corporate tax rates. The United Nations also has one of its main offices in the capital of Geneva.

 

 

14. Iran

Iran "has long been of interest to global powers because of its strategic location within the Middle East and its abundant supply of oil and other natural resources," according to US News. The nation holds a whopping 9% of the world's oil reserves.

 

 

13. Turkey

As the gateway between the Middle East and the European Union, the relationship between the two bodies is increasingly important on the global stage as conflict rages in nearby countries. In September, British Secretary of State Boris Johnson said Britain would support Turkey's long-fought bid to join the EU, but an increasingly tense relationship between Turkey and several EU nations could hinder its progress.

 

 

12. Canada

Canada was named the second-best country in the world to live in by US News, but its power didn't quite match, despite it being the largest trade partner of the United States.

 

 

11. South Korea

A contentious relationship with its isolated neighbor in the north means South Korea often receives military and political support from the world's superpowers. It is one of the world's largest reserves of foreign investment and is also the world's sixth-largest exporter.

 

 

10. United Arab Emirates

The UAE is one of the world's largest importers of arms and, after Saudi Arabia, has the second largest defense budget of any of the Arab states.

 

 

9. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have allowed it to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the Middle East. The gulf state has long been viewed as a close ally of the US, UK, and other Western nations.

 

 

8. Israel

For a country with a population of just over eight million, Israel's influence on the world stage is remarkably widespread. Despite ongoing conflict with neighboring Palestine, the Jewish nation has a strong economy and a high level of education and per capita income for its citizens.

 

 

7. Japan

As one of the most technologically advanced nations, Japan boasts the world's third-largest economy, having recovered from the 2011 tsunami that shattered its infrastructure and manufacturing.

 

 

6. France

With a GDP per capita of $42,384, France boasts one of the largest economies in Europe and is one of the world's top exporters of weapons. Its influence extends around the world "through its science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture.

 

 

5. Germany

Often seen as the economic powerhouse of Europe, the continent's most populous nation has seen its role on the world stage become increasingly important since reunification in 1990.

 

 

4. United Kingdom

"The United Kingdom is a highly-developed nation that exerts considerable international economic, political, scientific and cultural influence," writes US News. While it isn't known how its exit from the European Union will affect the country's standing, the nation seems to have so far withstood the shock of the referendum result.

 

 

3. China

The rise of China is quite remarkable. Home to 1.4 billion people, the country already has the world's largest military, and experts predict it will be the world's largest economy by 2050.

 

 

2. Russia

Russia capitalized on its natural resources to become one of the world's wealthiest nations. Its military spending as a percentage of its GDP continues to outstrip that of countries within NATO by a considerable distance. It currently spends 5.4% of its annual GDP on defense — the closest a NATO country comes by comparison is the United States, which spends just 3.3%.


 

 

1. United States

Nearly 75% of respondents said they lost "some respect" for US leadership after the presidential election, but the country is still ranked the most powerful. Its economic, political, cultural, and artistic influence shapes the world and a massive defense budget of around $600 billion and its leading economy put it at the top.