Ireland Country Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Nicknamed the Celtic Tiger for its economic boom between the mid-90s until 2000, Ireland continues to ride the wave of foreign investment and low corporate tax. Ireland’s stellar growth has had its own challenges though, like the economic recession, Brexit and more recently, the pandemic, which has shaken the global economy.

Amidst all this chaos, how does the Republic of Ireland fare in terms of reputation and competitiveness, and how does Ireland perform as a nation brand? Let’s look at how Ireland shapes its narrative on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Ireland’s soft power and brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labor, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and wellbeing
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

Ireland’s soft power and brand strength

How does Ireland compare in terms of reputation and brand value globally? 

In the Global Soft Power Index 2023 by Brand Finance, Ireland secured the 29th spot, sitting right behind Israel (27th) and India (28th). Impressively, Ireland jumped one position from the previous ranking, this can be attributed to its score increasing from 41.9 in 2022 to 46.7 this year.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, Ireland  secured the 23rd position, behind South Korea (21st) and Austria (22nd). Notably, Ireland performs best in two key areas: adventure (14th) which examines the level of  friendliness,  funness, good for tourism, scenic beauty, pleasant climate, and overall sexiness; and social purpose (14th), which evaluates animal, human and respects property rights, care for the environment, commitment to climate goals and social justice, gender and racial equality, religious freedom, trustworthiness and distribution of political power. Ireland has maintained its positioning from 2022, with lowest scores in movers and power.

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brand Index (NBI) calculates its ranking based on averaging the scores of six different factors: exports, governance, tourism, culture, people and immigration, and tourism. According to the NBI 2023 ranking Ireland  secures the 25th position, a drop of one position since 2022.

Appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

What is the global perception of Ireland as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 ranks Ireland in 39th position out of 53 countries, below Singapore (37th) and Belgium (38th). However, Ireland  ranks 3rd in theCareer Prospect metric and 8th in the Working Abroad metric.

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasizing perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, Ireland placed 6th; a decline of one position from the previous ranking. Globally, Ireland secures the 13th position, maintaining its positioning from the previous ranking. 

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places Ireland at the 27th global position, dropping out of the top 25 rank.  Regionally, Ireland  now holds the 14th position, experiencing a drop of three positions, due to decreased tourism receipts, D2 – Digital Demand © and CBS Rating ©.

In the IMD 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking, Ireland secured the 2nd position, showing an impressive jump from the 2022 ranking where it placed 11th. Currently, it sits just behind Denmark. 

In terms of specific characteristics, Ireland’s economic performance jumped six positions to the 1st spot in 2023. It holds the 3rd position for government efficiency, experiencing a jump of eight positions compared to 2022. Lastly, Ireland jumped eight positions to the 3rd place for business efficiency, and holds the 19th spot for infrastructure, jumping four positions since 2022.

According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2023, Ireland belongs to the second group, Strong Innovators, whereas Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden are Innovation Leaders in the region. Ireland’s performance has increased by 2.3% points during the period between 2016 and 2023. Its strengths are: Public-private co-publications, Population with tertiary education, Employment in knowledge-intensive activities, Foreign doctorate students, and Innovative SMEs collaborating with others.  While its weaknesses are: Non-R&D Innovation expenditures, R&D expenditures in the public sector, Design applications, Environment-related technologies, and R&D expenditure in the business sector.

Ireland’s environmental performance

How well does Ireland look after its natural environment?

The 2022 edition of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks Ireland 24th, below Italy (22nd) and Cyprus (23rd). The EPI analyzes the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. Ireland has experienced a change in score of positive 2.5.

Peace and happiness in Ireland

Is Ireland a happy and safe place to invest time and money in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks Ireland 3rd, dropping one position from last years’ index. Ireland sits behind Iceland (1st), and Denmark (2nd). Ireland falls under the very high sector of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace.

The Institute for Economics & Peace similarly ranks Ireland within the low impact (yellow) zone in terms of ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2022 Global Terrorism Index. Ireland ranks 87th, tying with Mauritania and below Vietnam (89th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2023 which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year-average 2020–2022 ranks Ireland 14th.

Talent attraction and competitiveness 

What are the conditions for talent attraction and retention in Ireland?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 edition placed Ireland at the 24th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past 5 years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

Ireland, classified as a high-income country within the European regional group, currently holds the 12th position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Moreover, Ireland performs most remarkably in the Attract pillar where it holds the 5th position and its main challenge is VT Skills where it ranked 23rd.

Last updated in October 2023. More country profiles here.

Enjoyed our summary of global rankings and indices on Ireland’s economic performance, its sustainability, attractiveness for skilled immigrants, brand strength and reputation? Thanks for sharing!


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