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A recent study called the Global Talent Competitiveness Index takes a look at which countries are best at attracting the smartest and most-skilled workers.

The report comes from INSEAD, an acclaimed business school in France known for some of the wealthiest graduates in the world. It examines nearly 70 metrics for 134 countries, using a mix of quantitative and survey data.

Following are the highest-scoring countries for global talent competitiveness.

10. United Kingdom

London
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 73.75 out of 100

The U.K. is facing economic headwinds in the form of persistent inflation and an unemployment rate that will rise to 4.5% in 2024, according to estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Brexit, the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, continues to weigh on trade, it adds.

9. Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 73.86 out of 100

Sweden dropped “to its lowest position in the GTCI, although it remains a top-10 performer” in 2023, INSEAD says. It is one of the strongest countries when it comes to an increasingly online economy, with more than 90% of businesses having a website, according to the OECD.

8. Australia

Melbourne, Australia
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 73.93 out of 100

“Australia outperforms the average in income, jobs, education, health, environmental quality, social connections, civic engagement and life satisfaction,” according to the OECD Better Life Index. The annual disposable income available to the average household is more than $37,000 USD.

7. Norway

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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 73.96 out of 100

Few people in Norway work 50 or more hours a week on average, according to the OECD — just 1% of workers — but the average household enjoys a disposable income of about $39,000 USD per year. Three in four working-age people have a paid job.

6. Finland

Helsinki, Finland
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 74.35 out of 100

Finland rose in the 2023 study from eighth place in 2022, according to INSEAD. “The country stands out for its global leadership position” in its business, labor and regulatory landscapes.

5. Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 74.76 out of 100

The Netherlands hit a new high-water mark in the 2023 overall rankings. According to the OECD, 81% of adults ages 25-64 have at least the equivalent of a high school diploma, and 78% of people of working age have a paid job.

4. Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark
Oleksiy Mark / Shutterstock.com

Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 76.54 out of 100

Denmark has seen a slowing economy since mid-2022 with high inflation, but as in the U.S., the job market has remained strong. Nonetheless, that dip seems to have been just enough to nudge the country out of the top three for 2023, according to INSEAD.

3. United States

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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 76.60 out of 100

“The United States is the global leader in two pillars: Grow and Vocational and Technical Skills,” INSEAD says. These are among the six categories the study groups its metrics — “Grow” refers to education, including apprenticeships, training programs and continuing education. Its weakest points, from INSEAD’s perspective, are a lack of gender equality and some resistance toward talented immigrants.

2. Singapore

Singapore
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Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 77.11 out of 100

Tiny Singapore — which the OECD lumps together with China, India and the rest of Southeast Asia for its economic outlook — continues to develop as an e-commerce hub and maintains strong export markets in electronics and chemicals.

1. Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland
Dennis van de Water / Shutterstock.com

Overall score in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index: 78.96 out of 100

The highest-scoring country in the world, Switzerland, has now held the title for 10 years running. It gets high marks in every major and most minor categories INSEAD analyzed, and the only criticisms the report has to offer are that it could do better with virtual professional networks and “expand tertiary educated employees in the workforce.” The country can expect its economy to grow about 1.2% in 2024, according to the OECD.

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