Situated in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” famous for its abundant agricultural output, including grains like wheat, corn, barley, and sunflower oil. Manufacturing is an extremely important sector of the Ukrainian economy, and ranks among the world’s top steel producers.

Amidst its economic strengths, Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty offer immense potential for tourism, with cities like Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa enticing visitors with their historical allure and vibrant atmosphere. Nonetheless, Ukraine struggles with internal challenges like political instability, corruption, and the ongoing war with Russia.

But what do international rankings and indices say about Ukraine in terms of economic development, country brand strength and reputation?

Let’s take a closer look at:

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

Ukraine’s soft power and country brand strength

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

In the Global Soft Power Index 2024 by Brand Finance, Ukraine secures the 44th spot, slightly trailing South Africa (43rd) and Monaco (42nd). Ukraine’s score has dropped by -1.30 and the position dropped from 37th since last year’s ranking.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, Ukraine secures 68th position behind Jordan (67th) and Slovenia (66th). The highest ranking of Ukraine is in the key area of Power (14th) and Social Purpose (34th). However, Ukraine’s ranking is poor for Quality of life (87th).

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, Ukraine secured the 57th position, a drop by ten positions from 47th in 2022.

Talent attraction and competitiveness in Ukraine

How well is Ukraine performing in attracting and retaining talent?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 edition placed Ukraine at 85th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

Ukraine, classified as a Lower-middle income country within the Europe regional group, currently holds the 64th overall position and 36th regional position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Notably, Ukraine ranks quite low in all pillars, however the best one is the Attract pillar (30th), while the Vocational and Technical Skills pillar presents Ukraine’s biggest challenge, where it ranked 77th.

In terms of education excellence, Ukraine does not have any university within the top 100 worldwide, according to the World University Rankings 2024.

Is Ukraine a ‘Good’ country?

What is Ukraine’s contribution to global well-being?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2023, Ukraine ranked 2nd, trailing behind Indonesia (1st) and ahead of Kenya. Notably, Ukraine performs admirably in the subfactor of helping a stranger, with 78% of the adult population partaking in such activity and the subfactor of donated money with (70% of adults). Ukraine improved from 10th position in the Caf World Giving Index 2022.

In the Good Country Index, Ukraine currently holds 57th overall position, improving from 72nd position in 2022. Ukraine experienced major improvement in the Prosperity & Equality factor when climbing from 100th position in 2022 to 47th in 2023. Moreover, Health & Wellbeing improved from 82nd to 55th, and World Order from 46th to 17th. However, Ukraine also experienced a downward trend in Culture when it ranked 61st in 2022 and 90th in 2023.

Other subfactors ranked as follows: International Peace & Security (133rd), Planet & Climate (137th).

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, Ukraine ranked in the light yellow zone (5-6 range) with a 5.42 out of 10. Ranking higher than neighbouring Belarus (1.99), or Russia (2.28). However, significantly lower than Poland (7.04) or Slovakia (7.07).

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index ranks Ukraine 116th, tying with countries such as Algeria, Mongolia, Zambia, or Angola.

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranked Ukraine 38th, however, the data for Ukraine correspond with the current situation in the country as most of the data have not been updated since 2022 due to the war. Therefore, it is difficult to objectively evaluate the current situation.

Prior to the current situation that escalated in February 2022, the report highlighted that Ukraine faces major challenges in some SDG’s (SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing, SDG 15 Life on Land, SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and strong institutions), and most of the other SDGs face significant challenges. The SDG achieved is SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities.

Ukraine’s appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

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

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasising perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, Ukraine ranks 17th, surpassing Norway (18th) and behind Romania (16th). Worldwide, Ukraine ranks 44th.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places Ukraine at the 35th position in the Europe Region, dropping by one position since last year’s ranking. Ukraine ranks behind Montenegro (34th) and Romania (33rd).

Worldwide, Ukraine ranks in the 93rd place, behind Nepal (92nd) and surpassing Curaçao (94th). Ukraine offers a captivating blend of tradition and innovation, from the historic streets of Lviv to the bustling energy of Kyiv. However, the shadow of war in the eastern regions makes it hard for tourists to visit the country.

How peaceful is Ukraine?

Is Ukraine a peaceful and safe place to be in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks Ukraine 157th dropping by 14 positions since last year’s index. Ukraine falls in the very low sector of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the ranking is influenced by the ongoing conflict in the country. Ukraine now sits between Somalia (156th) and Russia (158th).

On the other hand, the Institute for Economics & Peace ranks Ukraine 54th within the very low impact zone in terms of ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2024 Global Terrorism Index. Ukraine is behind Norway (53rd) and ahead of Spain (55th) and Lebanon (56th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2024, ranks Ukraine 105th, behind Cameroon (104th) and ahead of Namibia (106th). Ukraine dropped from 92nd position in 2023, however, the ‘pre war’ ranking in 2021 placed Ukraine at 110th place and in 2020 the country ranked 123rd. Therefore, the low ranking is not particularly caused by the war outbreak and even slightly ‘improved’ during the war.

Ukraine’s environmental performance

How does Ukraine perform in rankings measuring environmental sustainability?

The 2022 edition of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks Ukraine 52nd. The EPI analyses 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. Ukraine has experienced a change in score of positive 6.20 in the past 10 years.

Last updated in April 2024. More country profiles here.

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