Australia has long been viewed as home to some of the most liveable cities and most beautiful beaches but now our nation has clinched the 4th spot in a ranking of best countries in the world.

Based on global opinion, US News & World Report along with marketing company WPP and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ranked Australia number 4 on the list behind only Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, and the USA rounding out the top 5 places.

Australia also jumped 3 spots in the overall rankings from last year.

87 countries were ranked based on 73 attributes which were broken down into 10 sub-categories: adventure, agility, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power, quality of life, and social purpose.

Australia achieved an overall score of 97.6 while ranking in 1st place as the world’s friendliest country, 3rd for agility, and 8th for adventure and quality of life.

Australia also scored in 3rd place for a comfortable retirement, 6th for solo travel, and 8th for education.

Top 10 countries in the world

Switzerland has retained its top spot for the second year in a row and the 6th time overall.

The small, landlocked country is followed by Canada (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Australia (4th), and the United States (5th).

In fact, European countries made up the majority of the top 25, holding 16 spots in the 2023 rankings.

Germany saw the largest fall among these leading nations, down five spots since 2022, while Australia and New Zealand saw the largest increases, both up three spots year over year.

The only country in the Middle East to make the top 25 was the United Arab Emirates, while Asia was represented by Japan, Singapore, China, and South Korea.

Here are the top 10 best countries in the world:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. Sweden
  4. Australia
  5. United States
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. New Zealand
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Netherlands

10 lowest ranking countries in the world

While there were many notable climbs in this year's leader table, there were also many falls.

South America also saw some notable shifts, with Colombia (60th) dipping eight spots, and Uruguay (57th) climbing eight spots.

Several European countries also had noticeable year-on-year declines.

Latvia saw the most noticeable drop, down eight spots to 72nd and Denmark and France both fell three spots, leaving the top 10 and Germany slipped to 7th place.

After Ukraine’s move up nine positions in 2022, it moved back down six positions in 2023, landing in 68th place.

Three of Ukraine’s regional allies – Lithuania, Poland, and Romania – also saw their rankings fall year over year, though all three countries still sit higher than they did prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

For its part, Russia continued its drop in the rankings, slipping one spot to 37th after seeing one of the largest drops (-12) in the project’s history last year.

While three of Russia’s allies – Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan – saw their rankings fall significantly between 2021 and 2022 and have not notably recovered, as they remain in the bottom five of the 87 countries ranked.

Here are the 10 Lowest-Ranked countries in the world:

  1. Cameroon
  2. Algeria
  3. Myanmar
  4. Honduras
  5. Serbia
  6. Uzbekistan
  7. Kazakhstan
  8. Lebanon
  9. Belarus
  10. Iran

Investors need to remind themselves

This ranking for 2023 should serve as a reminder for investors that Australia is going to remain a preferred destination for immigrants from all around the world, which will underpin our long-term population growth which will in turn drive our housing markets.

The findings also highlight the importance of lifestyle locations when it comes to choosing an investment property.

Beauty, amenities, services, and walkability are all key factors that help set a high-value investment-grade suburb apart from the rest.

After all, it’s all about the lifestyle and what we call a 20-minute neighbourhood.

Buyers are willing to pay a premium for properties that are within walking distance of, or a short trip to, a great shopping strip, your favourite coffee shop, amenities, the beach, and a great park.

And as a result, these are the type of neighbourhoods that investors and wannabe homeowners are flocking to.