What makes a country the best nation in the world?

Perhaps it's the picturesque mountains that make up New Zealand? Or the golden sands that surround Australia? The endless road trips around the US, or perhaps the snowy alps in Switzerland?

Well, turns out delicious pastries and champagne come out on top – with France taking out the title as the "best nationality in the world".

According to the Kälin and Kochenov's Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), which ranks nationalities in terms of several factors, France is still topping the world's top-10 nationalities, followed closely by Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

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France took the spot of top nationality for the eighth year in a row. Photo / Oleh Aleinyk
France took the spot of top nationality for the eighth year in a row. Photo / Oleh Aleinyk

For a country to come out on top, QNI looks at data to assess the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within a country – giving it a percentage out of 100. The survey also looks at the external value of nationality and how it helps residents' opportunities outside their country of origin – including education, life chances, global travel and healthcare.

Topping the list for the eighth year in a row, France received a score of 83.5 per cent out of a possible 100 per cent.

Germany and the Netherlands came in with 82.8 per cent in equal second place, while Denmark landed third with a score of 81.7 per cent.

Ranking nationalities by opportunity Kälin and Kochenov ranking shows each nation's place in the world. Photo / Supplied
Ranking nationalities by opportunity Kälin and Kochenov ranking shows each nation's place in the world. Photo / Supplied

Typically, European countries perform extremely well on the QNI, largely due to the liberal degree of settlement freedom permitted between member states. However, the UK could become the exception to this rule, with its current eighth position potentially in jeopardy if it crashes out of the EU without a Brexit deal in place.

Prof Dimitry Kochenov, one of the co-creators of the index, said the UK could fall from the elite group of "very high quality" nationalities.

"The UK may be about to establish a world record in terms of profoundly undermining the quality of its nationality without going through any violent conflict," he said.

The USA surprisingly only made the top 25 of nationalities. Photo / Nik Shuliain
The USA surprisingly only made the top 25 of nationalities. Photo / Nik Shuliain

"A truly 'hard' Brexit would result in the UK having a nationality that does not grant Brits settlement or work rights in any of the EU jurisdictions or Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland. "A collection of the most highly developed places on earth, greatly diminishing the quality of its own nationality in an irrevocable manner.

"Either you have such rights, or not – and in such a scenario UK citizens won't have them."

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The US wasn't awarded well, coming in 25th with a significantly lower score of 70 per cent, while New Zealand fared worse with a score of 54.8 and a ranking of 31 – though this was up from the year prior's ranking of 33.

The bottom three nationalities on this year's QNI are South Sudan (157th), Afghanistan (158th), and Somalia (159th) with respective scores of 15.9 per cent, 15.4 per cent and 13.8 per cent.