Top 10 country brands in the world, Canada hits #1

Remember when you could make all those “two thirds” jokes about Canada? Based on the currency, there were so many ways we could tweak our northern neighbors. Then, the U.S. dollar plunged. I remember being in Quebec and seeing parity between the two dollars for the first time in October 2007. Well, the momentum has continued, and it’s not just about money. It seems as though Canada’s brand is stronger than ours now.

According to FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index, the United States isn’t looking so good these days. From 2009, we fell down to the #4 spot, from the #1 position. Meanwhile, Canada worked its way from #2 last year to the top of the heap in 2010.

USA Today reports that the United States reached #1 last year because of the “Obama effect,” with the prospect of “hope” and “change” making us look promising. A year later, the prospect doesn’t burn as bright, and it’s reflected in the FutureBrand rankings.

It could have been worse: we could’ve wound up joining Zimbabwe, Iran and Pakistan at the bottom of the heap.

See the full top 10 list below:
1. Canada
2. Australia
3. New Zealand
4. United States
5. Switzerland
6. Japan
7. France
8. Finland
9. United Kingdom
10. Sweden

The brand rankings are based on a survey of 3,400 business and leisure travelers from five continents, not to mention “expert focus groups, on their image associations of various countries in five categories, including tourism appeal, quality of life and value systems,” USA Today reports.

[photo by ankakay via Flickr]