An international survey published Monday ranked Israel as the eighth most powerful nation in the world for the third consecutive year, narrowly ahead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The annual survey by US News & World Report was based on the answers of more than 21,000 people from four regions.
The survey ranked 80 countries on a range of issues, including power, cultural influence, economy and entrepreneurship, with the categories adding up to an overall “best countries” ranking.
Israel was ranked 29th on the best countries list, up one place from the last two years, with Switzerland and Japan taking the first two slots.
But in the power ranking Israel was ranked inside the top ten, behind the United States, Russia, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan, in that order. Saudi Arabia and South Korea were ranked 9th and 10th, while the United Arab Emirates was 11th. Middle Eastern rival Iran was 13th, and Turkey ranked 16th.
The power ranking is based on five attributes: a country’s leader, its economic influence, its political influence, strong international alliances, and a strong military.
“For its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs. The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbors,” the report noted.
However, this year Israel dropped out of the top ten in the list of “movers” — up and coming economies — where it was ranked 13th, down from 10th last year. The UAE, Singapore and China were the three highest-ranked nations in that category.
The Jewish state was ranked lower in the rest of the categories: 25th in entrepreneurship, 28th in heritage, 39th in citizenship, 41st in quality of life, 42nd in cultural influence, 70th in openness for business and 75th in adventure.
Perhaps in a blow to the self-image of many Israelis, the country scored particularly low when rated for “fun” or “sexy” (sub categories of adventure) as an attractive destination, scoring just 0.1 out of 10 in both.