The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM: 2022

This report discusses the 2022 findings from the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brand Index SM (NBI SM) survey. NBI data are used to report on the International Indicator on 'Scotland's reputation'.

Executive summary

Since 2008, the Scottish Government has used the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM) to assess and monitor how Scotland is perceived around the world. The NBISM examines the image of 60 nations[1] by looking at a country's reputation along six dimensions of national competence: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism, Immigration and Investment. Together these provide an overall indication of a nation's reputation. Until 2020, approximately 20,000 adults aged 18 and over, in 20 core panel countries were interviewed online. In 2021, the overall sample size increased to approximately 60,000 adults.[2] The fieldwork takes place over July and August.

Data from the NBI is used to update one of the Scottish Government's 81 National Performance Framework (NPF) Indicators on 'Scotland's reputation'.[3] National Indicators enable Scotland to track progress towards the achievement of its eleven National Outcomes outlined in the NPF. The 'Scotland reputation' indicator is used to inform the 'International' National Outcome.[4]

Scotland subscribed to the survey annually in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and thereafter biennially in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022. Scotland did not subscribe to the 2011, 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2021 surveys, but was included in the sample of evaluated countries in these years.

The data provide snapshots in time. Over a number of years, these snapshots can track Scotland's reputation in the longer-term. Data can also be used to compare Scotland's reputation with that of other countries, and to monitor how Scotland sees itself. However, data cannot be used to evaluate performance of specific Scottish Government directorates, agencies or policies.

The rank and scores together provide an overall indication of a country's reputation. The rank is informative of a country's reputation relative to other countries, and may change in relation to other countries' performance. The score provides a more absolute understanding of how a country is viewed overall and by each of the individual panel countries. The score therefore may be regarded as a more reliable indicator of a country's reputation over time. Looking at the scores and ranks together is useful, as individually they may deliver different messages about a countries reputation and performance over time. For example, whilst a countries' score may decrease between two years, its rank may increase over this period and vice versa.

Key findings from the 2022 data include:[5]

Scotland's overall position

  • Scotland received an overall score of 65.3 (out of 100 points) and ranked 15th (out of 60 nations).
  • Scotland's absolute score has improved, going from 62.6 in 2020 to 65.3 in 2022, and Scotland's relative rank has also improved by two places since 2020 (from 17th in 2020 to 15th in 2022).
  • Scotland's National Performance Framework Indicator on 'Scotland's reputation' is now 'improving' as the increase in Scotland's score is above the 1.0 point threshold.[6]

How other countries score and rank Scotland

  • Generally, respondents in Commonwealth, English speaking and European countries ranked Scotland highest, with those in the United Kingdom[7] and the United States ranking Scotland 4th and 9th respectively. Respondents in both Canada and Sweden ranked Scotland 11th.
  • Scotland received the highest overall scores from respondents in India (73.5), South Africa (71.4) and China (71.2).
  • Scotland was ranked lowest by respondents in Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Argentina, and received the lowest overall scores from respondents in Japan, South Korea and Russia.

Dimensions and attributes

  • Scotland is rated as a Top 20 country on five of the six dimensions of reputation. Scotland's strongest dimension in 2022 was Governance, on which Scotland ranked 11th out of 60, with a score of 64.9 (up from 62.9 in 2020).
  • Scotland's overall scores improved across all six dimensions. Scotland's ranks improved across four of the six dimensions (Exports, Governance, Culture, People) and maintained across two dimensions (Tourism, and Immigration and Investment).
  • Scotland's weakest dimension was Exports. This is Scotland's only dimension to rank outside of the Top 20 (21st). Exports also received the lowest overall score (59.3) across Scotland's six dimensions.
  • Within the dimensions, Scotland fares relatively well in the rating of individual attributes. Natural beauty continues to be perceived as Scotland's strongestattribute, ranking 7th out of the 60 nations (and being the highest scoring attribute – 5.6 out of 7.0). Scotland ranked 9th for how welcoming the people of Scotland are, and 10th in relation to international peace and security and historic buildings and monuments.

Familiarity and favourability

  • At the start of the NBISM survey, respondents are asked to rate how familiar and how favourable they are towards each country. Familiarity with Scotland has increased from 67 per cent of respondents having some knowledge of Scotland in 2020 to 68 per cent in 2022. The most noticeable increase in levels of familiarity was seen from respondents in Japan, Poland and Turkey. Overall, Scotland ranked 24th for familiarity, down from 21st in 2020.
  • Favourability towards Scotland improved between 2020 and 2022. All 20 core panel countries gave Scotland a favourability score of 4.5 or more (on a 1.0 to 7.0 point scale) in 2022, suggesting that Scotland is viewed comparatively positively by all panel countries. Scotland's overall score for favourability was 5.0 (compared to 4.9 in 2020), and it was ranked 13th out of 60 (up by one place since 2020).

Demographic trends

  • Women scored Scotland higher than men across the Culture, People, and Tourism dimensions. Men scored Scotland higher than women across the Exports, Governance, and Immigration and Investment dimensions.
  • Overall, respondents in the older age groups (45 years and over; and 30-44 years) tended to have a more positive image of Scotland than individuals in the youngest age group (18 to 29 years). Those aged 30 to 44 years scored Scotland higher than the other age groups across four out of the six dimensions. Across two dimensions the scores from the two older age groups were tied.
  • The more exposure respondents have had to Scotland (through visits or contact with websites) the more likely they were to be favourable towards Scotland, and to score Scotland higher on all the dimensions and on familiarity.
  • Business/executives scored Scotland higher than those in other occupations.
  • In nearly every one of Scotland's dimensions and their underlying attributes across the survey, similar patterns are seen for these demographic groups.

How Scotland sees itself

  • Scottish respondents scored Scotland marginally lower in 2022 than they did in 2020 (75.9 and 75.8 respectively), and continued to rank Scotland 1st out of the 60 nations.



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