Economic Growth

These are the world's most competitive economies 

Singapore currency notes are seen through a magnifying glass among other currencies in this photo illustration taken in Singapore April 12, 2013. Singapore on Friday held monetary policy steady as expected and said it will maintain the Singapore dollar's "modest and gradual" appreciation path as it expects economic growth to pick up gradually over the course of the year. REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: BUSINESS)

The list incorporates GDP, government spending, corruption level, and unemployment. Image: REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: BUSINESS)

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The New Data Economy

  • The US no longer has the world's most competitive economy.
  • Singapore and Hong Kong overtook the US for the top spots in this year's IMD World Competitiveness Ranking.
  • The UAE, Qatar, and Thailand also moved up the ranking since 2018.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The United States no longer has the world's most competitive economy.

Singapore overtook the US in the annual IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. The list incorporates 235 data points, including GDP, government spending, corruption level, and unemployment.

Singapore also tied with Paris and Hong Kong as the world's most expensive city earlier this year, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living report. The country has among the world's lowest corporate tax rates at 17%.


What do we mean by ‘competitiveness’?

The US moved down the list due to higher fuel prices, weakening exports, and fluctuations in the value of a dollar, the IMD World Competitiveness Center stated in a release.

Singapore, along with other Pacific Asian countries, moved up the ranking due to advanced technological infrastructure and policies that support businesses.

Here are the 25 countries with the most competitive economies, ranked:

25. Thailand has moved 5 spots up the ranking since 2018.

Thailand's jump is driven by an increase in foreign direct investments and productivity, according to the report.

24. Israel ranked at number 21 in 2018.

Israel fell in the ranking due to a negative performance across different government efficiency indicators, such as its budget deficit.

23. The UK dropped three spots since ranking number 20 last year.

The UK's Brexit woes was among the causes of its slide in the rankings.

22. Malaysia kept the same ranking as last year.

Image: Zainal Abd Halim/Reuters

21. New Zealand moved up two spots since ranking at 23 last year.

20. Iceland moved up 4 spots in the ranking since 2018.

19. Austria moved down one spot since taking the number 18 ranking last year.

Image: Flickr/Kosala Bandara

18. Australia moved up one spot since ranking number 19 last year.

Image: Jason Reed/Reuters

17. Germany had the number 15 ranking in 2018.

Image: Associated Press

16. Taiwan moved up one spot in the ranking since last year.

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15. Finland moved up one spot since 2018.

Finland has one of the best infrastructure among all the economies ranked.

14. China held the number 13 ranking last year.

China's domestic economy has one of the best economic performances.

13. Canada moved down 3 spots in the ranking since last year.

Canadian flag flies in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Image: Reuters

12. Luxembourg moved down one spot in the ranking since 2018.

Image: Wikimedia

Luxembourg still scores high in macroeconomic performance.

11. Norway moved down 3 spots from its number 8 ranking last year.

The Nordics region failed to make significant progress this year in terms of economic competitiveness, according to the data.

10. Qatar moved up 4 spots since last year.

Image: Reuters

Qatar entered the top 10 for the first time since 2013.

9. Sweden kept the same rank as last year.

Sweden ranks high in delivering technological and human resources to businesses.

8. Denmark moved down 2 spots from the number 6 ranking last year.

Image: Reuters

Despite its fall, Denmark scored high in infrastructure, according to the data.

7. Ireland moved up 5 spots since 2018.

Ireland's strengthened economy and investment in business explained why it ranked so high.

6. The Netherlands moved down 2 spots this year.

The Netherlands ranked highly in how innovative and profitable its businesses are.

5. The United Arab Emirates moved up 2 spots from number 7 last year.

Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, is seen in a general view of Dubai Image: Thomson Reuters

The UAE appeared in the top five for the first time due to increased productivity and entrepreneurship.

4. Switzerland moved up a spot in the ranking since last year.

A Swiss flag is pictured on the Federal Palace in Bern Image: Reuters

Switzerland also ranked highly for the quality of life, according to IMD World Competitiveness Center.

3. The US moved to the number 3 after having the most competitive economy last year.

Image: AP Images

Higher fuel prices and fluctuations in the value of a dollar led to the drop in rankings for the US.

2. Hong Kong also held the second spot on the list last year.

Policies designed to help businesses helped Hong Kong remain in the top 3.

1. Singapore took the top spot after landing in third place last year.

Image: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Singapore's advanced technological infrastructure and availability of skilled labor prompted its rise.

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