OTTAWA — Canada has the best reputation in the world, says a study measuring public perceptions of 50 countries around the world, released on Tuesday.

The Reputation Institute study measures the trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards 50 countries, as well as perceptions of peoples' quality of life, safety and attention to the environment.

Results from 42,000 respondents worldwide ranked Sweden next, followed by Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand, the reputation management firm said.

The countries scored high for their steady democracies, high economic output per capita, focus on active lifestyles, well developed political systems and perceived neutrality to international political upheavals.

Being perceived as a safe country was the main driver of a country's reputation.

Pakistan, Iran and Iraq were ranked lowest in the 50-country study, while the United States and China were ranked in the middle and lower tiers.

Violence-stricken Mexico plunged from 24th place in 2009 to 35th place this year. The reputations of Greece, Ireland and Spain also dropped while Germany climbed five spots to number 11.