Britain’s image overseas

The Anholt Nation Brands Index ranked 60 nations in 2021 and the UK ranked 5th as a nation brand, behind Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy. 

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index is an annual online study amongst 60,000 consumers in 20 panel countries around the world. Respondents score 60 nations on a raft of attributes including some relating to tourism, culture and people as well as those relating to exports, governance and immigration. Respondents are representative of the online population in each market. In 2021, there were some methodological changes whereby the number of interviews tripled, 60 nations were ranked vs 50 in previous years and Saudi Arabia replaced Egypt in the panel countries. 

 

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

There were significant changes to the top 10 nation brands in 2021 with the UK dropping 3 rankings to 5th place after reaching a record 2nd place in 2020. 

The overall nation brand is made up of scores for six dimensions: Tourism, Culture, People, Immigration-Investment, Exports and Governance and there were declines across most of the dimensions in 2021.

Looking at the dimensions relevant for tourism, the UK ranked 6th out of 60 nations for Tourism and 4th for Culture. Within these dimensions the UK ranked highest for contemporary culture, sport, historic buildings/monuments and vibrant city life. Within other dimensions, education qualifications, having a close friend from the UK and willingness to live and work in the UK were held in high regard as well. Attributes such as natural beauty, welcome and behaving responsibly to protect the environment were ranked lowest in 2021. 

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 2021 Hexagon dimensions / attribute UK rank in 2021
Tourism 6 People 10
Rich in historic buildings & monuments 5 If visited, people would make me feel very welcome 18
Vibrant city life & urban attractions 6 Would like a person from country as a close friend 3
Would like to visit if money was no object 7 Would employ well-qualified person from country 6
Rich in natural beauty 31    
Culture 4 Exports 4
Interesting & exciting for contemporary culture 4 Major contributor to innovation in science & technology 5
Excels at sport 4 Feel better about buying products if made there 6
Has a rich cultural heritage 8 Creative, cutting edge ideas & new ways of thinking 6
Immigration-investment 5 Governance 11
Willing to live & work there for a substantial period 5 Competently and honestly governed 11
A place with a high quality of life 8 Respect the rights of citizens & treats with fairness 10
A good place to study for educational qualifications 2 Behaves responsibly in int. peace & security 9
Has businesses I'd like to invest in 6 Behaves responsibly to protect the environment 15
Cares about equality in society 12 Behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty 10

Read our full report on how the world views Britain (PDF, 524 KB). Published December 2021.