Take a rough guess at number one.

US News and World Report have recently released a series of lists compiling some of the most successful countries of the modern day. Among the most intriguing of these lists are the 'Most Powerful' rankings. These rankings were determined by a series of factors including global influence, alliances, wealth and prosperity, military might, and leadership ability. These are the top 10 most powerful countries on that list.

10. South Korea

Considering this region's very messy 20th Century, as well as their not-too-friendly neighbours to the north, South Korea's inclusion on this list is considerably commendable. Since the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953, South Korea created strong alliances with the like of the U.S. and was quick to merge the political democracy of the West with the output efficiency of the East.

GDP: $1.5 trillion USD

Population: 51.5 million

9. Saudi Arabia

This Middle-Eastern geographical giant is renowned for its opulent wealth and expansive resources. The area is also home of many sacred sites of the Muslim faith and, as such, the vast majority of its population practice the religion. This strict conservatism has created an ethos of military discipline within the culture, and Saudi Arabia is a major player in the wider area as a result. 

GDP: $638.8 billion USD

Population: 32.9 million

8. Israel

Much like South Korea, the birth of modern Israel was forged in conflict. Since its post-World War II inception, Israel has forced almost constantly to secure safety for its citizens, as well as stable economic growth. The ancestral home of the Jewish people can never lower their guard and, as such, a strong theme of military success is at the centre of everyday life. The city of Tel Aviv is also swiftly becoming one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial hotspots in the world. 

GDP: $350.9 billion USD

Population: 8.7 million

7. Japan

Japan was utterly decimated at the conclusion of World War II and was forced to reassess centuries of feudal tradition. More than 70 years later, the island nation is a miracle story of hard work and the free market thriving. Japan is renowned for having among the most hardworking citizens in the world, and although this may not be beneficial to individual happiness, it has certainly been beneficial to their booming economy.

GDP: $4.9 trillion USD

Population: 126.8 million

6. France

France's cultural and historical influence throughout the world can barely be matched by any other country. The modern world was shaped by the French Revolution, and more than 200 years later, the basic rights of the individual are still at the forefront of any legal or political reform in the West. France still maintains its powerful influences in international affairs, as it is one of just five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

GDP: $2.6 trillion USD

Population: 67.1 million

5. United Kingdom

Whether you agree with Brexit or not, it's difficult to dispute the UK's global reach. Formerly the most dominant superpower in the world, the UK had a hand in the modern creation of India, Canada, the US, Australia, and even China. What was once referred to as colonies have now become very strong allies, ensuring the military safety of Her Majesty's realm. 

GDP: $2.6 trillion USD

Population: 66 million.

4. Germany

germany

As one of the most populous nations in Europe, and certainly its most economically successful, Germany is a major player in international despairs, despite having a minimal military presence (for obvious reasons). Angela Merkel's domination as the country's chancellor since 2005 has seen mostly positive economic growth for the nation, and trust in 'German ingenuity' is as strong as ever. 

GDP: $3.7 trillion USD

Population: 82.7 million

3. China

If you haven't recognised China's continuing economic and influential growth in the world in the last 20 years, then you've been living under a rock. Many commentators believe that China's international domination is merely a matter of time and that her rise will happen in conjunction with the fall of the US. This financial flourishing is due to China's budding middle class, which was born through the opening up of the Communist Party's economic borders.

GDP: $12.2 trillion USD

Population: 1.4 billion

2. Russia

Russia doesn't have anywhere near the world's largest economy, it's standard of living is anything but ideal, and international relations with other nations are flaky at best. Yet, Russia's political and military influence lives on, long after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin has played a central part in bringing about some stability for his country, as well as convincing other countries that Russia should be taken seriously.

GDP: $1.6 trillion USD

Population: 144.5 million

1. United States

Surprise, surprise. The US is still dominating international influence under Trump's administration, much to the disappointment of his countless critics. As the self-titled bastion of individual liberty and freedom, America has served as the benchmark of economic growth and (somehow) stability. Whether they'll retain the coveted #1 spot on this list for much longer is yet to be seen. But as long as they've got the world's largest economy and military, they're in a pretty good position.

GDP: $19.4 trillion USD

Population: 325. 7 million

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