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US News – Is America Great Again? Data Say No

Three years of Best Countries survey results show an unmistakable trend that should alarm Americans.

“Among the many things that helped define the 2016 U.S. presidential election, one slogan still rings strong: “Make America Great Again.” The Donald Trump campaign set out to regain the status that the United States had supposedly lost because of the Obama administration. How did Trump fare in making America great again? In the eyes of the world, we certainly are going in the wrong direction. Say what you will about President Trump, one thing was true: At the end of 2015, there was room for America to be better perceived. To be clear, the U.S. is and always has been a great country, but there are some areas in which it could have improved vis-à-vis the rest of the world. According to the U.S. News, WPP, and Wharton Best Countries study, which ranks 80 countries by polling more than 21,000 people around the world – the U.S. was ranked the fourth best country in the world in 2016. This ranking is based on perceptions – how the world views the U.S. relative to other countries based on 75 metrics weighted by their correlation with gross domestic product per capita. In the 2016 survey, the U.S. was ranked only the 13th most economically stable country in the world and ranked 33rd in terms of how much people wanted to invest in it. At that time, it was ranked ninth for gender equality, 20th for open travel policies, and 16th in environmental policies. The vitriolic presidential campaign of 2016 further hurt the country’s reputation. A second wave of our survey (the 2017 rankings) taken immediately after the election showed that the election and its result affected not just internal American perceptions, but also views from abroad. Its political stability ranking dropped from 11th to 21st and its trustworthiness ranking dropped from 17th to 23rd.”

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