Israel has been ranked as the eighth most powerful country in the world, in an annual poll compiled by U.S. News and World Reports.
Israel ranks particularly high in terms of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But while its economy is highly developed thanks to the high-tech, pharmaceutical and diamond-cutting industries, Israel also ranks as one of the most unequal societies.
The ranking looks at 80 countries, falling into four categories: the top 100 countries in 2014 or 2015 in terms of gross domestic product (World Bank data); the top 150 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index, based on the 2014 or 2015 report; the top 100 countries in terms of foreign direct investment inflows in 2013 or 2014 according to UN data; and the top 100 countries in terms of international tourism receipts in 2014 or arrivals in 2013, based on World Bank data.
The rankings are based on surveys that ask participants for their opinions on each of the countries according to certain indicators. The surveys and rankings are based on nine categories, incorporating 65 indicators.
Each of these categories are weighted and normalized to account for outlying responses. The nine categories are adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life.
Israel garnered a 9.8/10 in terms of perception of the strength of its military and 7.9/10 for its political influence. It was also deemed to have strong international alliances and to be fairly economically influential. However, it did not score high on the leadership indicator. These factors combined made Israel the eighth most powerful country in the world, for the second year in a row.
The full top 10 "Power Rankings":
1. United States
5. United Kingdom
9. Saudi Arabia
10. United Arab Emirates
Israel, however, was ranked only 30th out of 80 in the overall list of "Best Countries," behind Russia, Greece and China. Israel ranked low in terms of “adventure” where it came 70th (fun and sexy being two indicators in that category). It also ranked badly in the “Open for Business” category, where it came 64th. The rankings pointed to high levels of corruption, an inhospitable tax environment and high manufacturing costs.
In other rankings, Israel was 20th in the “Most Forward-Looking” rankings, 23rd for “Best Education” and 24th for “Green Living.” It was also ranked eightth most influential country in the world. However, it is not considered a desirable place if you want a comfortable retirement, where it scored a measly 60th place.
Lower in the rankings were countries such as Serbia (78th place), Azerbaijan (64th), Iran (77th) and Myanmar (63rd).
As expected, Canada, Germany and the Nordic countries scored well, with Switzerland nabbing the top spot in the world rankings for a second year in a row. In terms of power, the United States, Russia and China took the top three spots, respectively. The United Kingdom came behind Germany in fifth place.