Defining the world’s most powerful countries is a more complex process than one might imagine. Power comes in many forms, from military might to economic strength, political influence, and cultural impact. The most powerful nations in the world shape global economic patterns, maintain a strong military and establish foreign policies whose effects reverberate all around the world. U.S. News and World Report, in partnership with BAV Group and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, ranks the world’s most powerful countries in its annual Best Countries rankings. The 2021 report surveyed over 20,000 people across the globe and asked them to associate 80 countries with five attributes: military alliances, international alliances, political influence, economic influence, and leadership.


1- United States

GDP: $21.4 trillion

Population: 328 million

Throughout the 1760s and early 1770s, the colonists of North America found themselves at odds with the imperial policies of Britain. After the rebel leaders won the revolutionary war against the British colony, independence was declared in America in 1776. After this, The United States was born as a new country. 

It is the most powerful country in the world with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per Capita of $65,280. The major exports of the country include electric machinery, vehicles, computers, and advanced military equipment.

The world’s most powerful country witnessed a terror attack in New York on Sept 11, 2001. The attack claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. Since then, the country has become fierce in stopping terrorism worldwide. 

2- China

GDP: $14.3 trillion

Population: 1.40 billion

The world’s most populous country, China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries. This powerful country is known to have the world’s longest civilization which dates back to 221 BC. It is the second-largest economy after the United States of America. 

Apart from being the world’s fastest-growing country, China is the world’s largest manufacturing economy. It is a growing influence on many developing countries via investment, trade, and ideas. 

In 1978, China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping announced a new policy, the Open Door Policy to open the door to foreign businesses that wanted to set up their business in China. Since then, the country has seen tremendous growth. 

3- Russia

GDP: $1.69 trillion

Population: 144 million

The world’s largest nation and one of the most powerful countries, Russia is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. 

When the Soviet Union (a federal state made up of fifteen republics) dissolved in 1991 because of the policies introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev, the republics became 15 independent nations. The largest and the most powerful nation that emerged out of it was Russia. 

Russia has a vast amount of natural resources. The country exports timber, metals, natural gas, and oil which makes it one of the most powerful countries in the world. Russia is also the second-largest exporter of military weapons after the United States. On top of that, it has the most number of nuclear weapons in the world – 8400 weapons.

4- Germany

GDP: $3.86 trillion

Population: 83.1 million

Another most powerful country in the world is Germany which is a Western European country with a landscape of rivers, mountain ranges, forests, and North Sea Beaches. 

Germany is a highly developed social market economy. It ranks the second largest exporter of goods and the third-largest importer of goods in the world. One of the key drivers of the country is manufacturing. However, there are other industries as well like telecommunications, agriculture, health care, and tourism that contribute to the country’s growth.

Germany is also considered one of the top destinations for foreign direct investment worldwide. It is a member of many international organizations like the United Nations, G20, NATO, the European Union, and APEC. 

5- United Kingdom

GDP: $2.83 trillion

Population: 66.8 million

Made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island, the United Kingdom is the fifth most powerful country in the world. The capital city of the country, London attracts a lot of tourists, making tourism one of the major drivers of the country’s economic growth. The other driver is the banking industry. 

Despite a fall in automobile and aerospace products manufacturing, this industry serves as a major contributor to the economy of the UK. It is also home to top foreign intelligence agencies, the Secret Intelligence Service, popularly known as the M16. 

The country is also the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Other famous figures are Cosmologist Stephen Hawking and computer wizard Tim Berners-Lee, the man behind the World Wide Web.

Talking about its presence in international organizations, the United Kingdom is a member nation of NATO, G20, UN Security Council, and the World Bank.

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