Singapore and Hong Kong have overtaken the US as the most competitive economies. Here's how 25 countries rank.


The United States no longer has the world’s most competitive economy.

Singapore overtook the US in the annual IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. The list incorporates 235 data points, including GDP, government spending, corruption level, and unemployment.

Singapore also tied with Paris and Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city earlier this year, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living report. The country has among the world’s lowest corporate tax rates at 17%.

The US moved down the list due to higher fuel prices, weakening exports, and fluctuations in the value of a dollar, the IMD World Competitiveness Center stated in a release.

Singapore, along with other Pacific Asian countries, moved up the ranking due to advanced technological infrastructure and policies that support businesses.

Here are the 25 countries with the most competitive economies, ranked:


25. Thailand has moved 5 spots up the ranking since 2018.

Thailand’s jump is driven by an increase in foreign direct investments and productivity, according to the report.


24. Israel ranked at number 21 in 2018.

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Israel fell in the ranking due to a negative performance across different government efficiency indicators, such as its budget deficit.


23. The UK dropped three spots since ranking number 20 last year.

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The UK’s Brexit woes was among the causes of its slide in the rankings.


22. Malaysia kept the same ranking as last year.


21. New Zealand moved up two spots since ranking at 23 last year.

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20. Iceland moved up 4 spots in the ranking since 2018.

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19. Austria moved down one spot since taking the number 18 ranking last year.


18. Australia moved up one spot since ranking number 19 last year.


17. Germany had the number 15 ranking in 2018.


16. Taiwan moved up one spot in the ranking since last year.

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15. Finland moved up one spot since 2018.

(Alexander DemianchukTASS via Getty Images)Finland recently wrapped up a two year UBI trial.

Finland has one of the best infrastructure among all the economies ranked.


14. China held the number 13 ranking last year.

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty ImagesThis picture taken on October 20, 2018 shows Chinese riders and their horses taking part in a performance in the show hall of an equestrian-themed town in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province, some 200 kilometres northwest of Shanghai. – Rising numbers of Chinese are taking up sports such as horse riding as the country’s growing economy — now the second biggest after the United States — gives people more disposable income to pursue leisure activities.

China’s domestic economy has one of the best economic performances.


13. Canada moved down 3 spots in the ranking since last year.


12. Luxembourg moved down one spot in the ranking since 2018.

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Luxembourg still scores high in macroeconomic performance.


11. Norway moved down 3 spots from its number 8 ranking last year.

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The Nordics region failed to make significant progress this year in terms of economic competitiveness, according to the data.


10. Qatar moved up 4 spots since last year.

Qatar entered the top 10 for the first time since 2013.


9. Sweden kept the same rank as last year.

halitomer / Shutterstock

Sweden ranks high in delivering technological and human resources to businesses.


8. Denmark moved down 2 spots from the number 6 ranking last year.

Despite its fall, Denmark scored high in infrastructure, according to the data.


7. Ireland moved up 5 spots since 2018.

Ireland’s strengthened economy and investment in business explained why it ranked so high.


6. The Netherlands moved down 2 spots this year.

The Netherlands ranked highly in how innovative and profitable its businesses are.


5. The United Arab Emirates moved up 2 spots from number 7 last year.

The UAE appeared in the top five for the first time due to increased productivity and entrepreneurship.


4. Switzerland moved up a spot in the ranking since last year.

Switzerland also ranked highly for the quality of life, according to IMD World Competitiveness Center.


3. The US moved to the number 3 after having the most competitive economy last year.

Higher fuel prices and fluctuations in the value of a dollar led to the drop in rankings for the US.


2. Hong Kong also held the second spot on the list last year.

Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty

Policies designed to help businesses helped Hong Kong remain in the top 3.


1. Singapore took the top spot after landing in third place last year.

Singapore’s advanced technological infrastructure and availability of skilled labour prompted its rise.

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