The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

One day af­ter Ger­many was named the world’s best coun­try in a U.S. rank­ing, the Ger­man govern­ment re­sponded to the news by point­ing out the last chal­lenges it now faces.

“Ger­many = Num­ber 1!” the govern­ment proudly an­nounced on Face­book, fol­lowed by the com­ment: “and in the cat­e­gories ‘hu­mor’ and ‘fash­ion’ we will also catch up.” The post was il­lus­trated with a stereo­typ­i­cal photo of a man wear­ing white socks and sandals — a com­mon Ger­man “tra­di­tion” that of­ten is ridiculed by the coun­try’s more style-con­scious neigh­bors, in­clud­ing France.

The United States came in fourth in the rank­ing, which was con­ducted by the mag­a­zine U.S. News & World Re­port, the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s Whar­ton School and global brand con­sul­tants BAV Con­sult­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis by the re­searchers, Ger­many’s pros­per­ous econ­omy, its brands, as well as soft power skills, among other fac­tors, con­trib­uted to its top rank. Twenty-four cat­e­gories were as­sessed for a to­tal of 60 coun­tries. More than 16,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in a sur­vey. The Wash­ing­ton Post

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