The people have spoken, and they love Germany. More specifically, an annual international index drawn from 20,125 interviews with residents of 20 countries this year found Germany to be this year’s most popular country—beating out longtime first-place winner the United States.
USA Today reports that the Denmark-based Anholt-Gfk Nations Brand Index, which “measures the image of 50 leading nations,” found Germany to have the best national image this year, awarding the country a superlative most often found in high school yearbooks.
Simon Anholt, creator of the index, said, “Germany appears to have benefited not only from the sports prowess it displayed … at the FIFA World Cup championship, but also by solidifying its perceived leadership in Europe through a robust economy and steady political stewardship.” (But mostly probably sports.)
Don’t worry though: The U.S. is still ranked first in “creativity, contemporary culture and educational institutions,” though its “perceived shaky record in global peace and security” affected its overall score.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.