Britain’s image overseas

The Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index ranks 50 nations each year. In 2016 the UK retained 3rd place as a nation brand, behind the USA and Germany.

The GfK Anholt Nations Brand Index is an annual study amongst 20,000 consumers in 20 panel countries around the world. Respondents score 50 nations on a raft of attributes including some relating to tourism, culture and welcome as well as those relating to exports, governance and immigration. Respondents are representative of the online population in each market.


Rank Nation Rank Nation
1 USA 6 Italy
2 Germany 7 Japan
3 UK 8 Switzerland
4 Canada 9 Australia
5 France 10 Sweden

The UK has a well rounded nation brand, ranked in the top ten for all of the dimensions that make up the nation brand rank.

The overall nation brand is made up of scores for six dimensions: Tourism, Culture, People, Immigration-Investment, Exports and Governance. Looking at the dimensions relevant for tourism, the UK ranked 5th out of 50 nations for Tourism and 5th for Culture.

Our strongest Tourism dimensions are for our “vibrant city life and urban attractions”, ranked 4th, and being “rich in historic buildings and monuments”, ranked 5th.  Aspirations to visit the UK were also strong with the UK ranked 5th as a place people “would like to visit if money was no object” which has risen one place since last year.  Our strongest Culture element is for “contemporary culture”, ranked 4th, with our “cultural heritage” ranked 7th out of 50. Both of these attributes have dropped one place since 2015.

Last year, the UK improved its rank for “is rich in natural beauty” by two places; a dimension that has been one of relative weakness for the UK, but this year the ranking dropped six places, although the actual score difference is minimal. Perceptions of welcome – “if visited, the people would make me feel very welcome” – dropped one place to 12th, although the actual score remains close to last year. 

Across the other dimensions, the UK retained its ranking for Exports and Immigration-Investment, although dropped four places for Governance.

The chart below shows in more detail how well Britain performed across Tourism, Culture, People, Exports, Immigration and Investment and Governance.

UK’s ranks for all dimensions and attributes

Hexagon dimensions / attribute UK rank in 2016 Hexagon dimensions / attribute UK rank in 2016
Tourism 5 People 7
Rich in historic buildings & monuments 5 If visited, people would make me feel very welcome 12
Vibrant city life & urban attractions 4 Would like a person from country as a close friend 5
Would like to visit if money was no object 5 Would employ well-qualified person from country 5
Rich in natural beauty 24    
Culture 5 Exports 4
Interesting & exciting for contemporary culture 4 Major contributor to innovation in science & technology 5
Excels at sport 5 Feel better about buying products if made there 4
Has a rich cultural heritage 7 Creative, cutting edge ideas & new ways of thinking 4
Immigration-investment 5 Governance 10
Willing to live & work there for a substantial period 5 Competently and honestly governed 10
A place with a high quality of life 7 Respect the rights of citizens & treats with fairness 6
A good place to study for educational qualifications 2 Behaves responsibly in int. peace & security 11
Has businesses I'd like to invest in 5 Behaves responsibly to protect the environment 12
Cares about equality in society 8 Behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty 6

Read our full report on how the world views Britain (PDF, 628KB). Published Dec 2016