Eighty nations have been ranked in terms of their economic growth competitiveness in the latest annual report from the World Economic Forum – a member-based institution headquartered in Davos, Switzerland, and comprising one thousand of the globe’s most powerful corporations.

The USA regains first place this year, displacing runner-up Finland. The rankings are based on a range of criteria including technology conditions, public institutions and the macroeconomic environment which, in aggregate, determine each country's prospects for economic growth.

Referring to the anomalous contrast in size and socio-political structure between the two top nations, WEF project director Peter Cornelius observed that the role of the public sector in Finland is far more significant than in the US.

“Even in those circumstances it’s possible to be very innovative. That is quite striking,” he said. The more so since less than a decade ago Finland’s economy was largely tied to the crumbling former Soviet Union.

The Top Twenty nations are …

01. United States
02. Finland
03. Taiwan
04. Singapore
05. Sweden
06. Switzerland
07. Australia
08. Canada
09. Norway
10. Denmark
11. United Kingdom
12. Iceland
13. Germany
14. Japan
15. Netherlands
16. New Zealand
17. Hong Kong SAR
18. Austria
19. Israel
20. Chile.

Languishing at the bottom of the list are …

76. Honduras
77. Ukraine
78. Bolivia
79. Zimbabwe
80. Haiti.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online and WEF website; additional content by WARC staff