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The detailed methodology behind the ranking

The detailed methodology behind the ranking


The methodology used by the IMD World Competitiveness Center to develop the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR) applies also to the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking and the IMD World Talent Report, with certain nuances. This edition of the WCR ranks 67 economies worldwide. The final score for each economy is computed by using the perceptions of executives together with statistical data.  This is designed in order to use different types of data to measure quantifiable and qualitative issues separately.



Statistical indicators are acquired from international, national and regional organizations, private institutions and our Partner Institutes. These statistics are often referred to as “hard data”. The hard data represent a weight of two-thirds in the overall rankings. In 2024, the hard data was computed to form 164 criteria.



Percpetions of executives are taken from a tailored online survey carried out between February and May 2024. The 6,612 respondents assessed competitiveness issues by answering questions on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 indicating a negative perception and 6 indicating the most positive perception. The average value for each economy is then calculated and converted into a 0 to 10.  Finally, the survey responses are transformed into their standard deviation values, from which the rankings are calculated. Survey answers were computed to form 92 criteria in 2024.



All criteria is grouped into four factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Five sub-factors are created within each. These sub-factors do not necessarily include the same number of criteria because, let’s say, it takes more criteria to assess the Education sub-factor than it does to evaluate the Prices one. Sub-factors, irrespective of the number of criteria they contain, have the same weight in the overall consolidation of results: the weight of each sub-factor is 5% (20 x 5 = 100).


The essential building block for the rankings is the standardized value for all the criteria (i.e. STD value). The first step is to compute the STD value for each criterion (hard and survey data) using the data available for all the economies. We then rank the economies based on the criteria that are used in the aggregation. Additional criteria are presented for background information only; they are not included in the aggregation of data to determine the overall rankings.



As distinct criteria exhibit different scales and units, a comparable standard measure — the Standard Deviation Method —is used to compute the overall, factor and sub-factor results. It measures the relative difference between the economies’ performances, resulting in a more accurate assessment of each country’s relative position in the final rankings. The STD is calculated by subtracting the average value of the 67 economies from the economy’s original value and then dividing the result by the standard deviation. Subsequently, we compute each of the economies’ STD values for the all the ranked criteria.



The rankings are then presented in multiple formats which you can view in the public Booklet online or in even greater detail in the Yearbook, purchasable through the eShop. Equally, a much more detailed explanation of the methodology is available in both.

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