Most Powerful Countries 2020

Defining the world’s most powerful countries is not always clear-cut and can be subjective. The most powerful countries are the ones that shape global economic patterns, preoccupy policymakers, and tend to have strong defense and military. Foreign policies of powerful countries are closely tracked and consistently dominate news headlines around the world.

U.S. News and World Report, in partnership with BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has found a way to rank the world’s most powerful countries in its Best Countries rankings. The report surveyed over 20,000 people from four regions around the world. Respondents were asked to associate 80 countries with five attributes: military alliances, international alliances, political influence, economic influence, and leadership.

The top 10 most powerful nations according to the 2019 Best Countries report are:

According to the 2018 survey, the United States is the world’s most powerful country. The United States has the world’s largest economy, with a GDP of $19.4 trillion and the largest military budget of $610 billion. The US defense spending is higher than the next seven largest defense spenders (China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, Germany, and the United Kingdom) combined.

Russia and China are the second and third most powerful countries, known for their military spending. China also has a large economy with a GDP of $12.2 trillion. Next on the list are Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, all of which have large economies and distribute high amounts of international aid.

No country on the list changed in rankings from 2018 to 2019 except for South Korea, which joined the top ten list in 2019 from the 11th rank. Honorable mentions for the most powerful countries in the world are the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Iran.

Global Power Rank Country Population 2020
1United States331,002,651
2Russia145,934,462
3China1,439,323,776
4Germany83,783,942
5United Kingdom67,886,011
6France65,273,511
7Japan126,476,461
8Israel8,655,535
9Saudi Arabia34,813,871
10South Korea51,269,185
11United Arab Emirates9,890,402
12Canada37,742,154
13Iran83,992,949
14Switzerland8,654,622
15Australia25,499,884
16Turkey84,339,067
17India1,380,004,385
18Italy60,461,826
19Iraq40,222,493
20Singapore5,850,342
21Sweden10,099,265
22Pakistan220,892,340
23Spain46,754,778
24Qatar2,881,053
25Belgium11,589,623
26Netherlands17,134,872
27Norway5,421,241
28Denmark5,792,202
29Egypt102,334,404
30Brazil212,559,417
31South Africa59,308,690
32Vietnam97,338,579
33Jordan10,203,134
34New Zealand4,822,233
35Belarus9,449,323
36Lebanon6,825,445
37Luxembourg625,978
38Mexico128,932,753
39Ukraine43,733,762
40Finland5,540,720
41Greece10,423,054
42Oman5,106,626
43Kazakhstan18,776,707
44Poland37,846,611
45Azerbaijan10,139,177
46Nigeria206,139,589
47Indonesia273,523,615
48Ireland4,937,786
49Portugal10,196,709
50Colombia50,882,891
51Philippines109,581,078
52Serbia8,737,371
53Myanmar54,409,800
54Thailand69,799,978
55Argentina45,195,774
56Angola32,866,272
57Ghana31,072,940
58Malaysia32,365,999
59Tanzania59,734,218
60Sri Lanka21,413,249
61Morocco36,910,560
62Panama4,314,767
63Tunisia11,818,619
64Guatemala17,915,568
65Ecuador17,643,054
66Peru32,971,854
67Chile19,116,201
68Czech Republic10,708,981
69Dominican Republic10,847,910
70Romania19,237,691
71Hungary9,660,351
72Costa Rica5,094,118
73Bulgaria6,948,445
74Uruguay3,473,730
75Croatia4,105,267
76Lithuania2,722,289
77Slovakia5,459,642
78Slovenia2,078,938
79Latvia1,886,198
80Estonia1,326,535