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The 11 countries with the best infrastructure around the world

Elena Holodny


Hong Kong Station

Large-scale, efficient infrastructure is a must-have for any economy to function competitively.

And that infrastructure needs to be maintained and even updated if a country wants its economy to run smoothly.

However, over the last few years since financial crisis, the infrastructure quality deteriorated in many developed countries, including the US, Germany, and France, according to the recent report by the World Economic Forum.

As a result, they're not leading the way in terms of infrastructure quality.

We took a closer look at the 11 countries with the highest quality infrastructure, according to data in the WEF's report. Check them out below.

11. United States

Reuters/Gary Cameron

The deteriorating support and sub-structure of the Memorial Bridge is pointed out by a bridge inspector in Washington.

The United States ranked 1st overall in terms of available airlines seats, and 5th for quality of air transport structure.

However, the US came in 99th place for mobile telephone subscriptions. 

Additionally, it is only 15th for railroad infrastructure and 14th for quality of roads.

"Infrastructure quality deteriorated in the United States" and other developed economies over the last decade since the financial crisis, according the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

10. Spain

Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

A model stands on the footbridge of the wooden structure Metropol Parasol.

Spain saw the 4th best railroad infrastructure and was 9th best overall for available airline seats.

However, both its port infrastructure and quality of air transport infrastructure were ranked 12th, and the quality of its electricity supply came in 24th.

A few years ago, Spain went through "reckless public spending of ill-thought-out projects that left the country crippled with debt" and several "ghost" airports, which go completely unused.

Source: World Economic Forum

9. United Kingdom

Reuters/Alastair Grant/pool

David Cameron Boris Johnson visiting the construction site of the Crossrail Farringdon station.

The UK ranked 3rd for available airline seats, and 9th for quality of electricity supply.

However, it came in 29th for quality of roads, and 19th for air transport infrastructure.

The UK infrastructure has one of the most developed infrastructures in the world, even when compared to other developed economies. 

Source: World Economic Forum, Business Insider

8. France

Reuters/Stephane Mahe

A technician inspects a wind turbine base at Alstom's offshore wind site in Le Carnet.

The quality of France's railroad infrastructure came in 6th, and the quality of its roads came in 7th.

However, the quality of its port infrastructure was in 26th, and the quality of its electricity supply in 14th.

Although the quality of France's infrastructure has slipped over the last few years, the country's competitive economic edge is still partially attributed to its "high-quality infrastructure," according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

7. Germany

Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Angela Merkel walks in front of wind turbines.

Germany came in 6th for available airline seats, and 9th for railroad infrastructure.

However, the quality of its port infrastructure ranked 14th and the quality of its electricity supply was in 20th.

The quality of infrastructure in Germany, like in the US, deteriorated since the financial crisis, according to the report. 

This has been quite noticeable when comparing Germany to Southern European countries like Italy, which saw improvements in infrastructure in the same time period, according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

6. Switzerland

Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

An engine driver of Swiss rail operator stands on a train driving through the construction site of the new Weinbergtunnel railway tunnel.

Switzerland's quality of electricity supply ranked 1st, and its railroad infrastructure came in 2nd place.

However, its quality of port infrastructure was in 47th place, and the quality of roads were ranked 9th.

Although Switzerland still has "excellent" infrastructure and connectivity with respect to the rest of the world, like Germany, France, and the US, its quality has decreased since the global financial crisis, according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

5. Japan


Commuters ride escalators at a subway station in Tokyo.

Japan's railroad infrastructure ranked 1st overall, and came in 4th for available airline seats.

However, the quality of its port infrastructure came in 22nd, and the quality of its air transport infrastructure came in 25th.

"Japan benefits from excellent infrastructure and one of the world's healthiest work forces
, with a life expectancy of over 80 years," according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

4. United Arab Emirates

Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh

A laborer works on the base section of Union Square Station, one of two underground stations where both lines meet at Metro Dubai.

The United Arab Emirates came in 1st place for the quality of roads, and 2nd for the quality of air transport infrastructure.

However, the quality of electricity was ranked 10th.

The UAE's "excellent macroeconomic environment, highly developed infrastructure, and strong institutions provide a solid base, and the Emirati economy is significantly more diversified than other GCC countries," according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

3. Netherlands

REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos

A dock beside a boat carrying express packages in one of the canals of Amsterdam.

The Netherlands came in 1st place for quality of port infrastructure, and 2nd for quality of roads.

However, it came in 23rd place for available airline seats.

The Netherlands' "economy experienced a small but generalized improvement and confirmed its strong performance in areas such as education, infrastructure, and institutions," over the last year, according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

2. Singapore

Reuters/Vivek Prakash

A guest swims in the infinity pool of the Skypark that tops the Marina Bay Sands hotel towers in Singapore.

Singapore came if 1st for quality of air transport infrastructure and 2nd for quality of port infrastructure.

However, it came in 29th in terms of fixed-telephone lines, and 14th for mobile telephone subscriptions.

Singapore's "economy can rely on top-notch infrastructure, a transparent and efficient institutional framework, and stable macroeconomic environment," according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

1. Hong Kong

Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong Station

Hong Kong came in 1st place in terms of mobile telephone subscriptions and 2nd place for quality of electricity supply.

The only factor where Hong Kong did not place in the top 10 was the availability of airline seats, where it was ranked 17th.

Hong Kong "continues to lead in infrastructure, ahead of Singapore, reflecting the outstanding quality of its facilities across all modes of transportation," according to the report.

Source: World Economic Forum

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