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Denmark is in the top 10 list of "Best Countries for Education" 2016

Out of 65 countries Denmark takes the 9th place for the absolute best place to study in the world.

Fifty years from now, countries of the world will be governed by today's youth. Their thoughts and actions will be shaped by what they know and have experienced, making education, in many ways, one of the best predictors of a nation's future success. who conducted 2016 Best Countries rankings, conducted in partnership with brand strategy firm BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, asked more than 16,000 survey participants from four regions to associate countries with specific attributes.

The Best Countries for Education are ranked based on scores on a compilation of three equally weighted country attributes: has top quality universities, well-developed public education system and would consider attending university there.

Denmark spend some of the most money on education as a percentage of their gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has said that levels of education funding do not necessarily affect academic performance, but this Scandinavian nation ranked in the top third, generally outperforming Asian nations where students are pressured to perform well. No. 18 South Korea, where children attend school each day of the week, was the third Asian nation on the list, preceded by No. 8 Japan and No. 17 Singapore.

Behind a country’s wealth and success are the policies that create possibilities, the people that drive the effort and the history that shapes the environment and perspective.

Globalization has expanded a country’s presence beyond its physical borders, and the 2016 Best Countries rankings seek to understand a nation’s worth beyond hard metrics.

The 2016 Best Countries report and rankings are 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. Sixty nations were measured in the inaugural report.

Ranking the Countries

The study and model used to score and rank countries was developed by WPP’s brand strategy firm BAV Consulting, specifically John Gerzema and Anna Blender, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specifically David Reibstein, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.

A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified. Attributes by nation were presented in a survey of more than 16,000 people from across the globe where participants assessed how closely they associated one with the other.

Each country was scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on a collection of individual survey responses. The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country’s attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalized to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.

Attributes were grouped into nine subrankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.

These thematic subrankings were formed by grouping country attributes that had similar global trends in survey responses. Subranking scores for each country were determined by averaging the scores that country received in each of the attributes comprising that subranking.

To determine the weight each subranking score had in the overall Best Countries score, each was correlated to 2014 gross domestic product purchasing power parity per capita, a measure of inclusive prosperity, as reported by the International Monetary Fund. More prevalent relationships that demonstrated an interconnectedness with the wealth metric were weighted more.  

The Movers subranking represents a version of BAV’s BrandAsset Valuator Model of Brand Building, a metric developed by BAV that is predictive of a country’s future growth in terms of gross domestic product purchasing power parity per capita. Instead of one year of data, it was correlated to predicted growth of the metric from 2014 to 2020.

The subrankings, their weights in calculating the overall ranking score and the country attributes factored into in each are below. The country attribute scores were equally weighted within each subranking. Subranking weights do not add up to precisely 100.00 due to rounding.

Adventure (3.24 percent): friendly, fun, pleasant climate, scenic, sexy

Citizenship (16.95 percent): cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, well-distributed political power

Cultural Influence (12.93 percent): culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy

Entrepreneurship (17.42 percent): connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business
practices, well-developed infrastructure, well-developed legal framework

Heritage (3.17 percent): culturally accessible, has a rich history, has great food, many cultural attractions

Open for Business (11.99 percent): bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment, transparent government practices

Movers (10.00 percent): different, distinctive, dynamic, unique

Power (7.42 percent): a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances, strong military

Quality of Life (16.89 percent): a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system

To arrive at a country’s rank, we first calculated its standardized scores in each of the 65 country attributes. Each country received nine subranking scores by averaging its scores for the country attributes grouped into that subranking. A country’s overall score reflects the weighted sum of its subranking scores. The subranking and overall scores were rescaled so that the top country in each category received a value of 100, and others were calculated as a proportion of that top score. Scores were ranked in descending order.

See the full report on