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US Drops Out Of (and UAE Joins) Global Competitiveness Top 10 For First Time Ever

Singapore, Switzerland and Denmark have been named the world’s most competitive economies in the 2024 World Competitiveness Ranking published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on Tuesday. While Denmark dropped two spots after topping the list in 2022 and 2023, Singapore leapt from 4th place to number 1 thanks to very high scores in government and business efficiency.

As Statista’s Felix Richter points out, what springs to mind when looking at this year’s top performers is the fact that all of them are relatively small economies, enabling them to react faster in today’s fast-paced globalized economy.

“Navigating today’s unpredictable environment requires agility and adaptability,” Christos Cabolis, the IMD World Competitiveness Center’s chief economist explained last year.

“The best-performing economies balance productivity and prosperity, meaning they can generate elevated levels of income and quality of life for their citizens while preserving the environment and social cohesion,” Arturo Bris, Director of the WCC said with respect to this year’s ranking.

Social cohesion, adaptability and agility are qualities the U.S., with its increasingly polarized political landscape and its slow-moving legislative process, currently lacks, which partly explains the U.S. economy’s gradual decline from the top of IMD’s annual ranking.

Infographic: The World's Most Competitive Economies | Statista

Having held the top position uninterrupted from 1997 to 2009 and not fallen out of the top 3 until 2017, the world’s largest economy dropped out of the top 10 for the first time this year, slipping from 9th to 12th place.

While that may sound bad considering the United States’ status in the world, it still makes the U.S. the highest-ranked among the world’s largest economies with China and Canada the only other top 10 economies (in terms of nominal GDP) to make the top 20 in the 2024 Competitiveness Ranking.

With six economies in the top 10, Europe once again excelled in the 2024 ranking, even though the region’s economic powerhouses Germany, France and the UK are nowhere to be found in the top 20 of this year’s ranking.

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