Publication - Statistics

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM: 2020 Report for Scotland

This report discusses the 2020 findings from the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brand IndexSM (NBI) survey. NBI data are used to report on the International Indicator on 'Scotland's reputation'.

Scotland's six dimensions of reputation

The Anholt-Ipsos NBISM explores a country's image by examining six dimensions of national competence, all of which are weighted equally and together to make up the NBISM score[21][22]. Each dimension is comprised of various attributes. The six dimensions and their associated attributes are:

Exports: Perceptions of products and services from each country; their views of a country's contribution to innovation in science and technology, and the degree to which a country is recognised as a creative place.

Governance: Perceptions of a country's government competency and fairness, as well as its perceived commitment to global issues such as peace, poverty and the environment.

Culture: Perceptions of a country's cultural heritage; appreciation of its contemporary culture and perceptions of its sporting excellence.

People: A country's reputation for employability; how open and welcoming its people are perceived to be; appeal of the people on a personal level.

Tourism: The level of interest in visiting a country and the draw of its natural beauty, historic built environment and city attractions.

Immagration and Investment: A country's appeal as a place to live, work, invest or study, how people perceive a country's economic and social situation.

Figure 5 displays Scotland's 2018 and 2020 performance across the six dimensions. Overall Scotland has a strong and balanced image, and is rated as a Top 20 country on five of the six dimensions of reputation, which is comparable to the 2018 results.

In 2020, Scotland's rank, relative to 2018, was higher on four of the six dimensions (Exports, Governance, Culture, and Immigration and Investment) and maintained on the People and Tourism dimensions. See Figure 5.

Scotland's most positive dimension in terms of rank in 2020 was Tourism, which placed Scotland 12th out of 50 countries, while Scotland's least positive dimension was Exports (22nd). Exports was Scotland's only dimension to rank outside of the Top 20. See Figure 5.

Figure 6 (see next page) illustrates the difference in average scores across the six dimensions given to Scotland by the different geographic regions of the world. Middle East and Africa, on average, scored Scotland the highest (64.5) followed by North America (63.4). Central and Eastern Europe scored Scotland the lowest (60.0).

The following section investigates each of the six dimensions in turn[23].

Figure 5: NBI SM Scotland's performance across the six dimensions of reputation (2018 and 2020)
Figure of Scotland’s ranks and scores across the six dimensions of reputation in 2018 and 2020.
Figure 6: NBI SM Scotland's six dimensions of reputation by geographic region (2020)
Figure of Scotland’s six dimensions of reputation by geographic region in 2020.

Exports

The Exports dimension aims to provide a sense of the economic strength and potential of a country, by asking three questions which cover the following attributes: 1) whether a country makes a major contribution to innovation, science and technology; 2) whether you would feel better or worse about buying products from a country; and 3) whether a country is a creative place with cutting-edge ideas and new ways of thinking.

Table 4 shows that Scotland received an overall score of 56.9 for the Exports dimension (57.1 in 2018). This gave Scotland a ranking of 22nd out of the 50 participating nations in 2020 (up from 23rd in 2018). This is the lowest score and rank that Scotland received for any dimension.

Table 4: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for Exports (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
Exports Overall 23 57.1 22 56.9
Contribution to innovation and science 25 4.2 24 4.2
Products and services 19 4.5 18 4.5
Country as a creative place 23 4.5 21 4.4

The countries which gave Scotland the highest rankings for Exports overall were the United Kingdom[24] (7th) and the United States (12th). The countries which gave Scotland the lowest rankings for Exports were Egypt (33rd) and South Africa (26th).

Exports attributes[25]

The scores for each of Scotland's attributes in the Exports dimension were very similar in 2020. The highest scoring attribute in the Exports dimension was Products and services (receiving a score of 4.5 out of 7.0). Whilst the scores across all three attributes have remained relatively stable between 2018 and 2020, the ranks have all improved by at least one point[26]. See Table 4.

When attribute scores were compared with other participating nations, Scotland ranked relatively high for its products and services (18th). However, Scotland's Contribution to innovation and science (24th), and Country as a creative place (21st), ranked outside the Top 20. Contribution to innovation and science is Scotland's lowest ranked attribute across the six dimensions. See Table 4.

Exports word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the products or services they most associated with Scotland. Respondents could choose as many responses as they liked.

Figure 7 shows the products or services that were most commonly associated with Scotland. These were 'Agriculture' (26 per cent) followed by 'Food' (22 per cent) and 'Crafts' (17 per cent), whilst the least commonly associated words were 'Automotive' (five per cent) and 'Oil' (six per cent each). Thirty-five per cent of respondents selected 'None of these'.

Figure 7: Products or services most associated with Scotland (2020)
Word cloud of products and services most associated with Scotland in 2020.

Governance

The Governance dimension aims to explore perceptions of how a country is governed domestically, by asking five questions which cover the following attributes: whether a country 1) is competently and honestly governed, 2) respects rights of its citizens and treats them with fairness, 3) behaves responsibly in international peace and security, 4) behaves responsibly to protect the environment and 5) behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty.

Governance, perceived as one of Scotland's strongest national competencies, ranked 13th across all 50 countries in the Index. Table 5 shows that Scotland's score for the Governance dimension decreased slightly, from 63.0 in 2018 to 62.9 in 2020, but its rank increased by one place (from 14th in 2018 to 13th in 2020).

Table 5: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for Governance (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
Governance Overall 14 63.0 13 62.9
Competent and honest 15 4.8 13 4.8
Fair and respectful of citizens' rights 14 5.0 12 5.0
International peace and security 14 4.8 12 4.9
Environmental protection 14 4.8 10 4.8
Efforts to reduce global poverty 14 4.4 14 4.4

The countries which gave Scotland the highest rankings for Governance overall were the United Kingdom[27] (3rd), the United States (7th) and Australia (9th). The countries which gave Scotland the lowest rankings for Governance were India (22nd), Egypt (20th), and South Korea (19th).

Governance attributes[28]

Scotland's attribute scores for the Governance dimension ranged from 4.4 (Efforts to reduce global poverty) to 5.0 (Fair and respectful of citizens' rights). These scores were all very similar to those observed in 2018. See Table 5.

When attribute scores were compared to other participating nations, Scotland ranked within the Top 15 for all the Governance attributes. The only attribute which did not improve its ranking between 2018 and 2020 was Efforts to reduce global poverty (maintained at 14th). See Table 5.

Governance word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the one adjective that most accurately described Scotland's government.

Figure 8 shows the adjectives that were most commonly used to describe Scotland's Government[29]. The most commonly used adjectives were 'Reliable' (33 per cent) followed by 'Trustworthy' (29 per cent), the least common adjectives being 'Dangerous' (two per cent) and 'Corrupt (three per cent). Twenty-two per cent of respondents selected 'None of these'.

Figure 8: Words associated with the government of Scotland (2020)
Word cloud of words associated with the government of Scotland in 2020.

Culture

The Culture dimension measures three elements of a country's cultural reputation, by asking three questions which cover the following attributes: whether a country 1) excels at sports, 2) has a rich cultural heritage and 3) is an interesting and exciting place for contemporary culture such as music, films, art and literature.

Table 6 shows that Scotland received an overall score of 60.7 for the Culture dimension in 2020, up 0.8[30] points since 2018, making this Scotland's only dimension score to improve since 2018. Scotland's rank also increased by three places since 2018 from 19th to 16th. See Table 6.

Table 6: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for Culture (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
Culture Overall 19 60.0 16 60.7
Excellence at sports 29 4.1 23 4.2
Cultural heritage 12 5.0 11 5.1
Contemporary culture 17 4.6 14 4.6

Scotland received its highest rank from the United Kingdom[31] (6th) and Australia (11th). South Korea had the least favourable perception of Scotland's Cultural reputation, ranking Scotland 27th out of 50 nations.

Culture attributes[32]

Scotland's attribute scores for the Culture dimension ranged from 4.2 (Excellence at sports) to 5.1 (Cultural heritage) in 2020 and varied very little or not at all from 2018. The attribute Excellence at sports was one of Scotland's lowest scoring attributes. See Table 6.

When attribute scores were compared with other participating nations, Scotland ranked relatively high for its Cultural heritage (11th) and Contemporary Culture (14th), both placing in the Top 15. However, Excellence at sports ranked outside the Top 20 at 23rd. See Table 6.

Culture word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the cultural activities or products most expected to see produced in Scotland. Respondents could choose as many responses as they liked.

Figure 9 shows the cultural activities or products that were most commonly expected to see produced in Scotland[33]. These were 'Museums' (29 per cent) and 'Music' (24 per cent), whilst the least commonly expected cultural activities or products were 'Circus' (six per cent) and 'Pop Videos' (eight per cent). Thirty-one per cent of respondents also selected 'None of These'.

Figure 9: Cultural activities or products most expected to see produced in Scotland (2020)
Word cloud of cultural activities or products most expected to see produced in Scotland in 2020.

People

The People dimension explores respondents' perceptions of people in Scotland, by asking three questions which cover the following attributes: 1) would people from the country make you feel very welcome, 2) would you like a person from the country as close friend and 3) would you be willing to hire well-qualified people from the country.

The People dimension ranked 15th across all 50 countries in the Index. Table 7 shows that in 2020 Scotland received an overall score of 65.8 a decrease from 2018 (66.1). Nonetheless, Scotland continues to be highly regarded for its People, featuring in the Top 15 countries overall since 2018.

Table 7: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for People (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
People Overall 15 66.1 15 65.8
Make you feel welcome 11 4.9 11 4.9
Friendly 14 4.9 13 4.9
Valuable employees 18 5.0 17 5.0

The countries which ranked Scotland's People dimension the highest were Australia and the United Kingdom[34], both ranking Scotland 5th. The countries which ranked Scotland the lowest on this dimension were Turkey and India (both ranking Scotland26th).

People attributes[35]

Scotland's attribute scores for the People dimension were all very similar in 2020 and showed no change from 2018. The highest scoring attribute in the People dimension was Valuable employees (5.0). See Table 7.

When attribute scores were compared with other participating nations, Scotland ranked relatively high for all the People attributes, all of which ranked in the Top 20. See Table 7.

People word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the adjectives that most accurately describe people in Scotland. Respondents could choose as many responses as they liked.

Figure 10 shows the adjectives that were most commonly used to describe people in Scotland[36]. These were 'Hard-working' (28 per cent) followed by 'Honest' (25 per cent) and 'skilful' (22 per cent), whilst the least commonly used adjectives were 'Ignorant' and 'Unreliable' (three per cent each). Twenty-six per cent of respondents also selected 'None of These'. These proportions were all similar to those observed in 2018.

Figure 10: Words associated with the people of Scotland (2020)
Word cloud of words associated with people of Scotland in 2020.

Tourism

The Tourism dimension focuses on respondents' perceptions of a country's attractiveness as a tourist destination, by asking four questions which cover the following attributes: 1) willingness to visit the country should money be no object, 2) whether the country is rich in natural beauty, 3) whether the country is rich in historic buildings and monuments and 4) whether the country has a vibrant city life and urban attractions.

Table 8 shows that Scotland's score for the Tourism dimension decreased from 69.4 in 2018 to 68.7 in 2020. However, Tourism remains as Scotland's strongest dimension, ranking 12th out of the 50 participating countries in both 2020 and 2018. This dimension received the highest rank and score.

Table 8: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for Tourism (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
Tourism Overall 12 69.4 12 68.7
Would visit if money were no object 13 5.3 14 5.2
Natural beauty 7 5.4 7 5.4
Historic buildings and monuments 12 5.1 12 5.0
Vibrant cities and urban attractions 22 4.8 18 4.8

The United Kingdom[37], Germany, Australia, France, Sweden, United States and Italy all ranked Scotland in the Top 10 nations for Tourism, whilst Egypt (30th) and India (24th) ranked Scotland the lowest.

Tourism attributes[38]

Scotland's attribute scores for the Tourism dimension range from 4.8 (Vibrant cities and urban attractions) to 5.4 (Natural Beauty) and varied very little from 2018. See Table 8.

Natural beauty continues to be perceived as Scotland's strongest characteristic, ranking 7th comparing attribute scores with other participating nations. Scotland was ranked in the Top 15 nations for the attributes Historic buildings and monuments (12th) and Would visit if money were no object (14th). See Table 8.

Tourism word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the words that most accurately describe the experience of visiting Scotland. Respondents could choose as many responses as they liked.

Figure 11 shows the words that were most commonly associated with the experience of visiting Scotland[39]. These were 'Fascinating' (30 per cent), 'Relaxing' (27 per cent) and 'Exciting' (26 per cent), whilst the least commonly associated words were 'Risky' and 'Depressing (three per cent each). Twenty per cent of respondents also selected 'None of these'.

Figure 11: Words associated with the experience of visiting Scotland (2020)

Word cloud of words associated with the experience of visiting Scotland in 2020.

Immigration and Investment

The Immigration and Investment dimension explores whether respondents perceive a country to be a good place to live, work, study and invest in, by asking five questions which cover the following attributes: 1) willingness to live and work in the country for a substantial period, 2) whether the country is a place with a high quality of life, 3) whether the country is a good place to study for educational qualifications, 4) whether the country has businesses you'd like to invest in, and 5) whether the country cares about equality in society.

Table 9 shows that Scotland's score for the Immigration and Investment dimension decreased from 60.9 in 2018 to 60.6 in 2020. Scotland was ranked 17th out of 50 participating nations in 2020, up one rank from 2018 (18th). See Table 9.

Table 9: NBI SM Scotland's reputation for Immigration and Investment (2018 and 2020)
2018 2020
Rank Score Rank Score
Immigration and Investment Overall 18 60.9 17 60.6
Willingness to live and work 14 4.5 14 4.4
Quality of life 18 5.0 17 5.0
Educational qualifications 19 4.7 18 4.7
Business to invest in 20 4.3 17 4.2
Equal opportunity 13 4.8 12 4.7

The countries which gave Scotland the highest rankings for Immigration and Investment were the United Kingdom[40] (4th), Australia and the United States which both ranked Scotland 9th. Similar to many of the dimensions discussed previously, Scotland received its lowest rank from Egypt (22nd) followed by Turkey and Japan (both ranking Scotland 20th).

Immigration and Investment attributes[41]

Scotland's attribute scores for Immigration and Investment ranged from 4.2 (Business to invest in) to 5.0 (Quality of life). All of the Immigration and Investment attributes have either maintained or decreased in score by 0.1 points between 2018 and 2020. See Table 9.

When attribute scores were compared to other participating nations, Scotland ranked within the Top 20 for all of the Immigration and Investment attributes, and all attributes have increased their rank since 2018 apart from Willingness to live and work which has maintained at 14th place. See Table 9.

Immigration and Investment word association

Respondents were asked to select, from a predetermined list, the one adjective they thought most accurately described the current economic and business conditions in Scotland.

Figure 12 shows the words that were most commonly associated with Scotland's economic and business conditions[42]. These were 'Modern' (23 per cent), 'Forward-thinking' (21 per cent) and 'Developing' (20 per cent), whilst the least commonly associated words were 'Backward' (four per cent) and 'Declining' (five per cent). Twenty-six per cent of respondents selected 'None of These'.

Figure 12: Words associated with Scotland's economic and business conditions (2020)
Word cloud of words associated with Scotland’s economic and business conditions in 2020.

Contact

Email: eva.kleinert@gov.scot