This indicator measures Scotland’s overall score on the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM).

This annual study is conducted by Ipsos in partnership with Simon Anholt.

The NBISM attempts to measure and rank a country’s broad reputation along six dimensions of national competence, all of which are weighted equally. Scotland’s NBISM score is presented as a score out of 100, calculated as an average of the scores given for the six underlying dimensions. The six dimensions are:

  • Exports
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • People
  • Tourism
  • Investment and Immigration

The data allow for an understanding of how Scotland is perceived by an online sample of respondents in 20 panel countries around the world, how an online sample of people from Scotland perceive Scotland itself, and how these perceptions compare with those of respondents from other countries included in the NBISM.

In the long term, the NBISM represents a useful tool to track and monitor Scotland’s reputation internationally. However, it does not provide an evaluative measure of policy interventions.

Source of Data:

Since 2008 the Scottish Government has used the NBISM to measure Scotland’s reputation internationally. This annual study is conducted by Ipsos in partnership with Simon Anholt

Scotland's performance on the NBISM in 2022 is summarised in a publication available on the Scottish Government website.

Conducted annually since 2008, the NBISM examines the reputation of 60 countries.[1] Twenty panel countries were selected for the survey of the 2022 NBISM study, representing major developed and developing countries that play important and diverse roles in international relations, trade and the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities.

The core 20 panel countries in 2022 were:

  • Western Europe/North America: the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden
  • Central and Eastern Europe: Russia, Poland, Turkey
  • Asia-Pacific: Japan, China, India, South Korea, Australia
  • Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
  • Middle East/Africa: Saudi Arabia, South Africa

The core panel countries have otherwise remained the same since SG first subscribed to the survey in 2008 but in 2021 Egypt was replaced by Saudi Arabia.

Each year, approximately 60,000 adults,[2] aged 18 and over, in 20 core panel countries are interviewed online. In each country, a minimum of 3,000 adults who are internet users are interviewed. Pre-recruited online panels are utilized for the study. Based on the most up-to-date online population statistics in each country, the outgoing sample in each country is stratified by four sample cells: males aged 18-34 and 35+, and females aged 18-34 and 35+. For each cell, random sample replicates are drawn and invitations are sent out to respondents to participate in the survey.

Using the most up-to-date online population parameters, the achieved sample in each country has been weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics such as age, gender, and education of the online population. Additionally, in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India and Brazil, race/ethnicity has been used for sample balancing.

Using a survey questionnaire in each panel country, the list of 60 nations is randomly assigned to respondents, each of whom rates 10 nations, resulting in each nation getting approximately 500 ratings per panel country.

In the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022 NBISM studies, Scotland was included as 21st panel country and as one of the 50 (in 2010-2020) and 60 (in 2022) rated countries, and thus respondents in Scotland rated Scotland in each of these years.

[1] This used to be 50 countries – Ipsos added 10 new countries in 2021.

[2] The total sample was 20,000 prior to 2021.


The NBISM examines the image of 60 countries 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 country’s reputation.

The six dimensions of a nation are defined as:

  • Exports: Perceptions of products and services from each country; their view 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.
  • Immigration 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.

Scotland’s NBISM score is presented as a score out of 100, calculated as an average of the scores given for the six underlying dimensions.

Criteria for Change:

This evaluation is based on: any difference in Scotland’s absolute score within +/- 1 point of last year's figure suggests that the indicator is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A reduction of 1 point or more suggests the indicator is improving; whereas an increase of 1 point or more suggests the indicator is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here

Please note, in October 2023 a change was made to the Criteria for Change after a typographical error was corrected. This has not affected the way in which performance was calculated and has not impacted any figures. 

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