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Which country has the best reputation?

Canada has beaten last year's leader Switzerland to top the 2015 "RepTrak" rankings, issued by the Reputation Institute, which has offices in many countries.

UE - Canada has beaten last year's leader Switzerland to top the 2015 "RepTrak" rankings, issued by the Reputation Institute, which has offices in many countries.

Since the survey began in 2010, Canada has ranked first all but two years and has not been placed lower than second.

The institute gathered information online for its rankings from more than 48,000 people in G8 countries. It says this enables it to "measure the public's perception of 55 countries based on three dimensions: effective government, appealing environment, and advanced economy.

"Countries with strong reputations are perceived positively in all three dimensions."

It is the largest annual survey of countries' reputations, the institute says.

Since the survey began in 2010, Canada has ranked first all but two of those years and never lower than second place.

"When people perceive a country positively based on their direct experiences and through the lens of others, that translates into increased tourism dollars," says a managing partner of the institute, Fernando Prado. "That's because a country's reputation dictates supportive behaviours such as the willingness of people to visit that country."

The institute describes itself as the world's leading research firm for reputation. It publishes reputation rankings of countries, cities and companies.

Its 2015 rankings report notes that the largest and most powerful countries are not necessarily the ones with the best reputations "... but the happiest ones do have better reputations ... and the ones that are peaceful ... and also the ones with less corruption".

New Zealand has increased its ranking to seventh in a list assessing the reputations of 55 countries. Last year it was eighth.

It says New Zealand ranked ninth in the United Nations' 2015 World Happiness Report, was at the "more peaceful" end of the scale in the Institute for Economics and Peace 20105 Global Peace Index, and was ranked second cleanest, behind only Denmark, in the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International.

NZ Herald