If that old childhood rhyme, “first is the worst and second is the best,” is true, then that means Canada is the best. The BEST! Our nation took second place on this year’s Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM (NBI), an annual report that surveys 60,000 individuals to determine the top countries. 

Following that rhyme would also suggest that Japan, who ranked third, is the one with the hairy chest and that doesn’t exactly seem right…

Still, Canada’s second-place ranking is a first. Usually the nation finds itself in the top five, and while last year we had third place, an improvement in our country’s “governance, people, and immigration and investment indices” all contributed to the climb, putting us one step closer to numero uno. We also ranked high on culture, tourism, and exports, according to the report.

Germany held fast in the number one spot for the fifth straight year, marking its seventh time in the top spot.

“Global respondents feel particularly positive about buying German products, the appeal of investing in German businesses, the employability of German people, the German government’s work to fight poverty, and excelling in sports,” the authors wrote. 

So, it sounds like Canada has some homework to do if we want to overthrow the Germans for the top spot. But it’s totally doable. The States, who ranked 10th this year, have been able to take the number one spot seven different times over the years, and we know what a shit show it can be down there, so surely there’s hope for us. (Just joshing, ‘Merica. We also a shit show.)

“Despite the pandemic still being very much prevalent in the U.S., a wide political divide in society, and persistent vaccine hesitancy, the United States reputation has begun to rebound and improved on each of these categories,” the study wrote of America and its current spot on the list.

Usually the report only surveys 50 countries, but 10 new countries were added this year including Iceland (#20), Slovakia (#37), Morocco (#42), Latvia (#45), Israel (#47), Dominican Republic (#49), Ecuador (#53), Mongolia (#54), Tanzania (#57) and Palestine (#60).