World Scenery

New Zealand ranked 11th in world’s best country list

With scenery like this it's not too surprising New Zealand has made it near(ish) the top of another global rankings list.

New Zealand has been named on another list as one of the best countries in the world.

The US News has ranked New Zealand number 11 in its inaugural Best Countries list.

And before you ask, yes we come in behind Australia, which has made it to the number 6 spot.

But our heritage ranking came in at number 34, with low scores in the "great food" and "rich history" categories.

But our heritage ranking came in at number 34, with low scores in the “great food” and “rich history” categories.

The countries are ranked based on their score in 65 categories, which are weighted based on their importance.

New Zealand scored well in major categories like citizenship (number 8 in the world), quality of life (number 6), open for business (number 6) and adventure (number 5).

However, Aotearoa’s rankings for cultural influence, heritage and power weren’t so flash, according to the US News Best Countries list.

While the methodology for the list seems to be quite robust, it’s hard not to question the rankings when it lists Auckland as New Zealand’s capital (Wellington’s been the capital since 1865).

However, they get the rest right about our “picturesque” country.

“The Kiwi spirit and culture are personified by such notable natives as Sir Edmund Hillary who first climbed Mount Everest in 1953 and Lord Rutherford, who split the atom,” according to US News.

It also mentions other things, including New Zealand icons like the bungy jump.

Germany topped the list, with Canada coming in second and the United Kingdom close on its heels.

No surprise US News named the United States the fourth best country overall.

US News said its 2016 Best Countries report and rankings were based on how “global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies”.

This is the first time US News has published the report and rankings, which included 60 countries.

Not to brag but New Zealand is no stranger to making it on to international lists.

Last year, our little country was named the world’s ninth best country, according to the United Nations.

Forbes reckoned it was the second-best country for doing business.

And in 2014 the Telegraph Travel Awards named New Zealand as the best travel destination – you get the idea.


1. Germany

2. Canada

3. United Kingdom

4. United States

5. Sweden

6. Australia

7. Japan

8. France

9. Netherlands

10. Denmark

11. New Zealand

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