Britain’s image overseas

The Anholt Nation Brands Index ranks 50 nations each year. In 2020 the UK ranked 2nd as a nation brand, behind Germany.

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index is an annual online 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 Germany 6 Italy
2 UK 7 Switzerland
3 Canada 8 Sweden
4 Japan 9 Australia
5 France 10 USA

The UK has a well rounded nation brand, ranked in the top four for five out of six 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 3rd 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 2020, the aspirational 'would like to visit if money was no object' moved down a rank to 5th. Within the Culture element, the UK’s rank for 'contemporary culture', slipped one place in the 2020 results to 4th, with ‘excels at sport’ jumping two ranks into 3rd place.  Our 'cultural heritage' ranked 6th out of 50, an improvement of one rank in 2020. 

Natural beauty remains a weaker attribute for the UK. After peaking in 2015 at 18th it is now ranked 23rd. Perceptions of welcome – 'if visited, the people would make me feel very welcome' – gained one place to 15th this year, although the UK ranked 4th in the People dimension overall.

Across the other dimensions, the UK retained its 4th ranking for Exports and Immigration-Investment and gained one 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 2020 Hexagon dimensions / attribute UK rank in 2020
Tourism 4 People 4
Rich in historic buildings & monuments 5 If visited, people would make me feel very welcome 11
Vibrant city life & urban attractions 4 Would like a person from country as a close friend 3
Would like to visit if money was no object 5 Would employ well-qualified person from country 3
Rich in natural beauty 23    
Culture 3 Exports 4
Interesting & exciting for contemporary culture 4 Major contributor to innovation in science & technology 5
Excels at sport 3 Feel better about buying products if made there 4
Has a rich cultural heritage 6 Creative, cutting edge ideas & new ways of thinking 4
Immigration-investment 4 Governance 10
Willing to live & work there for a substantial period 3 Competently and honestly governed 11
A place with a high quality of life 5 Respect the rights of citizens & treats with fairness 10
A good place to study for educational qualifications 2 Behaves responsibly in int. peace & security 10
Has businesses I'd like to invest in 6 Behaves responsibly to protect the environment 13
Cares about equality in society 10 Behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty 8

Read our full report on how the world views Britain (PDF, 681KB). Published November 2020