New Zealand has once again been named one of the best countries in the world.

In the first ever Best Countries rankings from US News, Aotearoa made the list at number 11, narrowly missing out on the top ten.

The report was based on how global perceptions defined a country and looked at a number of characteristics and impressions. More than 16,000 people from around the world were surveyed.

We were beaten by our neighbour Australia, which was ranked at number six. The results were divided into a number of categories.


For adventure, New Zealand was ranked at number five, after Brazil, Italy, Spain and Thailand.

The report said that each visitor to New Zealand would spend $2842 on tourism during their visit.

Aotearoa also performed well in the categories of citizenship (number eight), open for business (number six) and quality of life (number six).

Despite our interesting culture and history, we didn't do too well when it came to heritage - coming in at number 34. Our low ratings for history and cultural attractions could perhaps be explained by New Zealand being a relatively young country compared to others on the list.

We also scored low when it came to power (number 34), receiving a big zero for "strong military" and "politically influential".

However, our country was described in glowing terms such as "picturesque" by the report - although it seemed confused over whether Auckland or Wellington was the capital.

"The Kiwi spirit and culture are personified by such notable natives as Sir Edmund Hillary who first climbed Mount Everest in 1953 and Lord Rutherford, who split the atom," it read.

"The bungee jump, Hamilton Jet boat, referee's whistle and frozen meat are also credited to New Zealanders."


It's certainly not the first time our greatness has been recognised. A global UN report in 2015 ranked New Zealand the ninth best country in the world - an honour we share with Canada.

Also last year, Auckland's Waiheke Island was named as the fifth best destination in the world by Lonely Planet.

Best countries

1. Germany

2. Canada

3. United Kingdom

4. United States

5. Sweden

6. Australia

7. Japan

8. France

9. Netherlands

10. Denmark

11. New Zealand