Britain’s image overseas

The Anholt Nation Brands Index ranks 50 nations each year. In 2018 the UK retained 3rd place as a nation brand, behind Germany and Japan.

The Anholt Nation Brands Index is an annual study amongst 20,000 consumers in 20 panel countries around the world. (In 2018, VisitBritain sponsored an extension of the survey in two additional markets, Spain and Netherlands.) 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 Germany 6 Italy
2 Japan 6 USA
3 UK 8 Switzerland
4 France 9 Sweden
5 Canada 10 Australia

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 4th out of 50 nations for Tourism and 4th for Culture.

Our strongest Tourism dimensions is for our 'vibrant city life and urban attractions', ranked 4th.  ‘Being 'rich in historic buildings and monuments' is also highly ranked in 5th.  In 2018, the aspirational 'would like to visit if money was no object' moved up a rank to 5th.  Our strongest Culture element is for 'contemporary culture', although this fell by one place in the 2018 results to 4th, with ‘excels at sport’ a close second in 5th place.   Our 'cultural heritage' ranked 7th out of 50.  

Natural beauty remains a weaker attribute for the UK.  After peaking in 2015 at 18th it is now been holding position in the top half of the table at 24th for the past three years. The actual score difference on this attribute is minor over time, due to a close grouping of scores among countries. Perceptions of welcome – 'if visited, the people would make me feel very welcome' – dropped two places to 15th this year, although again the difference in score is minimal. 

Across the other dimensions, the UK retained its 4th ranking for Exports and Immigration-Investment and gained a rank for Governance to 10th.

The table 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 2018 Hexagon dimensions / attribute UK rank in 2018
Tourism 4 People 6
Rich in historic buildings & monuments 5 If visited, people would make me feel very welcome 15
Vibrant city life & urban attractions 4 Would like a person from country as a close friend 4
Would like to visit if money was no object 5 Would employ well-qualified person from country 5
Rich in natural beauty 24    
Culture 4 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 4 Governance 10
Willing to live & work there for a substantial period 4 Competently and honestly governed 10
A place with a high quality of life 5 Respect the rights of citizens & treats with fairness 7
A good place to study for educational qualifications 2 Behaves responsibly in int. peace & security 13
Has businesses I'd like to invest in 5 Behaves responsibly to protect the environment 12
Cares about equality in society 7 Behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty 7

Read our full report on how the world views Britain (PDF, 626KB). Published November 2018, updated March 2019 to include Spain and Netherlands