10 Best Countries in the World: Germany Dethrones U.S. in Nation Brands Index Survey

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Which country has the best brand image in the world? For the past five years, it's been the U.S. -- until this year. A central European economic power known for Oktoberfest, bratwurst and legendary cars like BMW, Mercedes and Porsche has taken the top spot.

Germany has the best national image in the world, according to the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, knocking the U.S. down a spot. The U.S. had been No. 1 in the rankings since 2009. Notably, none of the other countries in the top ten changed positions from 2013.

The index, which measures perceptions of 50 countries, is based on a survey of more than 20,000 people across 20 countries. The survey questions respondents on 23 different attributes across six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. Anholt-GfK conducted the survey this past July.

Germany dethroned the U.S. by winning of the FIFA World Cup this year and by having a "perceived leadership in Europe through a robust economy and steady political stewardship," said Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor and leading authority on national image and identity, in a release. 

The U.S., on the other hand, fell to the No. 2 spot, primarily because of its role in global peace and security, in which it ranked No. 19 out of the 50 nations in the survey. However, it is still seen as top ranking in creativity, contemporary culture, and educational institutions, the report said.

"In a year of various international confrontations, the United States has lost significant ground where tension has been felt the most acutely," said Xiaoyan Zhao, a senior vice president at GfK and the director of the index.

Click through to see which countries have the best brand image.

Sweden
2014 Rank: 10
2013 Rank: 10




Australia
2014 Rank: 9
2013 Rank: 9


Switzerland
2014 Rank:
8
2013 Rank: 8

Italy
2014 Rank:
7
2013 Rank:
7

Japan
2014 Rank:
6
2013 Rank:
6

Canada
2014 Rank:
5
2013 Rank:
5

France
2014 Rank:
4
2013 Rank:
4


U.K.
2014 Rank:
3
2013 Rank:
3



U.S.
2014 Rank:
2
2013 Rank:
1

Germany
2014 Rank:
1
2013 Rank:
2

More Slideshows You Might Like

14 Best Places in the World to Live and Work If You Are an Expat


Amazon's 10 Best Books of 2014: Debut Novel Everything I Never Told You No. 1


The 10 Most Obscenely Expensive Homes in the World and Their Filthy Rich Owners

-Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Follow @LKulikowski

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

More from Markets

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%