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Country Rankings

This is a list of country rankings based on indicators that try to measure different comparable characteristics of countries around the world. Most of these rankings are ongoing and recurring.

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Economic country rankings

Be careful when using these indexes. They measure qualities that are difficult to quantify. Moreover, methodologies often change year to year; therefore, multiyear comparisons are often invalid. For these reasons, it is important to know the methodologies used to derive these cross country comparisons before using them. Most of the indexes included provide their methodology.

Search tip: If you are looking for an indicator, e.g. stability, do a search in the search box for the database that you select. That will let you know which index measures that quality.

  • Ease of Doing Business Ranking (2004- ) from The World Bank
    Measures the regulatory environment of 181 countries that is conducive to the operation of business using the indicators:
    • Starting a business
    • Dealing with construction permits
    • Employing workers
    • Registering property
    • Getting credit
    • Protecting investors
    • Paying taxes
    • Trading across borders
    • Enforcing contracts
    • Closing a business
  • Economic Freedom of North America (1981- ) from The Fraser Institute
    Measures the differences in economic freedom among U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
  • Economic Freedom of the Arab World (2002- ) from The Fraser Institue
  • Economic Freedom of the World (every 5 years starting from 1970; annually 2000 to 2014) from The Fraser Institute
    Measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of privately owned property. Thirty-eight data points are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five areas: size of government; legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labour and business.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit's Quality of Life Index (2005 only)
    Assigns a life satisfaction score to 111 countries using a quality-of-life factors: material wellbeing; health; political stability and security; family life; community life; climate and geography; job security; political freedom; and gender equality.
  • Enabling Trade Index (2010, p.9) from World Economic Forum
    The country rankings and scores can be found in the Global Enabling Trade Report. The 2008 and 2009 reports are not available online.
    The ETI measures the extent to which individual economies have developed institutions, policies, and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destination. Is composed of 4 subindexes:
    • Market access subindex - measures the extent to which the policy framework of the country welcomes foreign goods into the economy and enables access to foreign markets for its exporters.
    • Border administration subindex - assesses the extent to which the administration at the border facilitates the entry and exit of goods.
    • Transport and communications infrastructure subindex - takes into account whether the country has in place the transport and communications infrastructure necessary to facilitate the movement of goods within the economy and across the border.
    • Business environment subindex - looks at the quality of governance as well as at the overarching regulatory and security environment impacting the business of importers and exporters active in the country.
      Each of these four subindexes is composed in turn of 9 pillars enabling trade:
    • Domestic and foreign market access
    • Efficiency of customs administration
    • Efficiency of import-export procedures
    • Transparency of border administration
    • Availability and quality of transport infrastructure
    • Availability and quality of transport services
    • Availability and use of ICTs
    • Regulatory environment
    • Physical security
  • Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (2004- ) from A.T. Kearney
    Is a regular survey of global executives conducted by A.T. Kearney.
  • Global Aging Preparedness Index (GAP Index) (2010, 2013) from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
    Covering 20 countries, the GAP Index measures how economically prepared each country is in meeting the challenge of an aging population. It consists of two separate subindices, with each composed of three category indicators: the fiscal sustainability index (public burden, fiscal room, benefit dependence); and the income adequacy index (total income, income vulnerability, and family support). The fiscal sustainability index tracks the burden that public benefit spending on the elderly threatens to impose on the nonelderly. The income adequacy index tracks the living standard of the elderly relative to the living standard of the nonelderly. The elderly is defined as adults 60 years of age and over.
  • Global Competitive Index (2001- ) from World Economic Forum
    The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, an annual survey of business leaders. The methodology of this index has changed considerably over the years. The most recent index is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, each of which is also ranked:
    • Institutions
    • Infrastructure
    • Macroeconomic Stability
    • Health and Primary Education
    • Higher Education and Training
    • Goods Market Efficiency
    • Labour Market Efficiency
    • Financial Market Sophistication
    • Technological Readiness
    • Market Size
    • Business Sophistication
    • Innovation.
  • Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2011 by Zoltán J. Ács and László Szerb. Edward Elgar, 2010.
    Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2012 by Zoltán J. Ács and László Szerb. Edward Elgar, 2011.
    AU Library does not have a copy of this book. AU patrons may request a copy through Consortium Loan from George Mason University Library. To request AU Library to purchase a copy, contact Clement Ho.
    Measures the quality of the business formation process in 71 of the most important countries in the world. Is composed of individual and institutional measures integrates 31 variables from various data sources into 14 pillars, three sub-indexes and a 'super index'.
  • Global Innovation Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit
    Measures innovation performance in 82 countries. Rankings available from original 2007 report and 2009 update for 2002-2006, 2004-2008 and forecast for 2009-2113. Is based on the number of patents granted to people from different countries by patent offices in the U.S., European Union and Japan, as well as factors that help and hinder the ability to innovate, such as the amount of research and development undertaken, the education and technical skills of the country's workforce, and its IT and communications infrastructure.
  • Global Retail Development Index (2004- ) from A.T. Kearney
    Ranks the retail expansion attractiveness of emerging countries based on a set of 25 variables including economic and political risk, retail market attractiveness, retail saturation levels, and the difference between gross domestic product growth and retail growth.
  • Global Service Location Index (2004- ) from A.T. Kearney
    Ranks 50 countries against 43 measurements across three major categories: financial attractiveness, people and skills availability, and business environment.
  • Globalization Index (2001- ) from Foreign Policy Magazine and A.T. Kearney
    Examines the underlying international trends that reveal whether the world's leading nations are becoming more or less globally connected.
    Also available from the database, Academic Search Premier(AU Community Only)
    • Click on "Search within this publication.
    • Search for: globalization index.
  • Index of Economic Freedom (1995- ) from The Heritage Foundation
    Is a simple average of 10 individual freedoms, each of which is vital to the development of personal and national prosperity: business freedom; trade freedom; fiscal freedom; government size; monetary freedom; investment freedom; financial freedom; property rights; freedom from corruption; and labor freedom.
  • KOF Index of Globalization (1970- ) from KOF Swiss Economic Institute
    Measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, and political.
  • Net Barter Terms of Trade Index (1980- ) from the World Bank
  • Open Markets Index (2011, 2013, 2015) from International Chamber of Commerce
    Measures a country's openness to trade using 4 factors:
    • Trade Openness
    • Trade Policy Regime
    • Openness to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
    • Infrastructure Open for Trade
  • Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (2007-2009, 2011- ) from World Economic Forum
    The rankings can be found in each Travel and Tourism Competitive Report.
    The TTCI aims to measure the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector in different countries. Is composed of 3 subindexes: the T&T regulatory framework subindex; the T&T business environment and infrastructure subindex; and the T&T human, cultural, and natural resources subindex. These subindexes are based on 14 pillars of T&T competitiveness:
    1. Policy rules and regulations
    2. Environmental sustainability
    3. Safety and security
    4. Health and hygiene
    5. Prioritization of Travel & Tourism
    6. Air transport infrastructure
    7. Ground transport infrastructure
    8. Tourism infrastructure
    9. ICT infrastructure
    10. Price competitiveness in the T&T industry
    11. Human resources
    12. Affinity for Travel & Tourism
    13. Natural resources
    14. Cultural resources