Life

These are the 10 best countries in the world in 2019

A tourist stands in Zurich, Switzerland.
RossHelen | Getty Images

For the third consecutive year, Switzerland is the world's best country, according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The publication's annual ranking compiles responses from more than 20,000 survey participants. Business leaders and citizens from 36 countries evaluate 80 nations according to 75 metrics such as quality of life, economic influence, power, education and eco-friendliness, among other factors.

Japan saw the biggest jump in rankings this year, moving from No. 5 in 2018 to No. 2 in 2019.

Deidre McPhillips, senior data editor at U.S. News & World Report, tells CNBC Make It that global perceptions of Japan improved in five of the nine broad categories that comprise the overall Best Countries ranking.

Japan also rose to the top spot on the publication's entrepreneurship list, an achievement McPhillips says is "particularly impressive" and driven by metrics such as innovation.

While 2019's list is largely unchanged in comparison to 2018's, there is one newcomer. This year, the Netherlands dropped to the 11th spot, making way for Norway, one of several Nordic countries to make a strong showing.

U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings are part of an analysis project called the 2019 Best Countries Report, one that "speaks to the value of having a strong global standing as nations compete for investment, tourists and influence," Wharton professor of marketing David Reibstein said in the report's press release.

"Today's consumers have infinite choices on where to invest their capital and time," U.S. News & World Report executive chairman Eric Gertler tells CNBC Make It. Lists like this one arm citizens and thought leaders with the data to "help make important business and life decisions."

Now in its fourth year, the project is conducted in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and global consumer insights firm Y&R's BAV Group.

Here are the top 10 best countries in the 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report:

10. France

France made the top ten again this year and snagged one of the top five spots for U.S. News & World Report's rankings for cultural influence and heritage.

9. Norway

A newcomer on this year's list, Norway also ranked well on the publication's related lists for raising kids, green living and citizenship.

8. United States

The United States held steady in 2019, keeping its No. 8 spot. It also topped the U.S. News & World Report list of most influential countries.

7. Australia

While in the seventh spot overall, Australia was among the top five countries to headquarter a corporation, travel alone and retire comfortably.

6. Sweden

Sweden made the top ten again and found its way into the top five on lists ranking the best countries for green living, headquartering a corporation and raising children.

5. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, a regular on the Best Countries list, also ranked among the top five on lists for entrepreneurship, power and cultural influence.

4. Germany

Germany, one of the top five overall countries, also broke the top five spots on specialized lists for education, entrepreneurship, power and influence.

3. Canada

Canada is again in the top three for U.S. News & World Report's annual best countries rankings, a position fueled by metrics such business environment and citizenship. McPhillips also notes that Canada was ranked the top-rated country among millennial respondents.

2. Japan

Japan rose from the fifth spot on last year's list to the second spot on 2019's ranking. According to the U.S. News & World Report's survey results, the country is seen by respondents as one of the most forward looking countries. It also ranks first for entrepreneurship, according to this year's data.

1. Switzerland

Each year it has made the rankings, Switzerland has ranked among the top countries in categories such as "citizenship'" and "entrepreneurship," says McPhillips. "Respondents consider Switzerland the top country in terms of economic stability, access to capital, a strong legal framework and prestige."

Says McPhillips, the country "consistently excels in perceptions of business-oriented metrics and quality of life."

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A tourist stands in Zurich, Switzerland.
RossHelen | Getty Images
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