7 Things That Make A Country Important

There are 195 nation states in the world. Every country has something unique to offer and plays a key role in global affairs. However, there is no denying that there are some countries that are seen as more important than others. In fact, there are a number of factors that determine how important a nation is seen in the global order. Let us explain…

1. A Country’s Large Economic Size

A first factor that makes a country important is the size of its economy.

A country’s economic size is measured by its GDP. This is the collective value of all of the goods and services a country produces. The higher a nations GDP is, the larger its economy.

Nations with big economies are often seen as being more important. This is because they not only produce more goods and services, but also because they make up a larger proportion of global trade. Larger economies have more businesses and generally better jobs. This attracts investment and talent from the world – further increasing the importance of country.

Generally, the bigger a nation’s economy the richer its people. This adds to a country’s importance because it means people from that nation are able to live good quality lives, as well as travel and spend money overseas. People also often want to move to countries with larger economies as they provide better opportunities. This increases a nations importance globally.

2. A Nations Cultural Reach

A second thing that makes a country important is having a wide cultural reach.

The culture of some countries is consumed globally. This not only brings in significant revenue for them, but also allows them to build connections with people all over the world. Countries that have a large cultural reach are seen as important partly because people from many other countries understand them better.

America, Britain, France, Italy, India, Japan and Mexico are some examples of countries that have worldwide cultural reaches. People feel a connection with countries such as these through consuming their cuisine, films, music, literature and sport. Nations that produce great cultural outputs that the whole world enjoys are often seen as being important nations. On the other hand, nations that have cultures that are more insular, or lack a global reach, are often less understood and struggle to be seen as major global players.

In the modern globalized world, having a national culture consumed all around the world can be key to a nation being seen as important.

3. Having A Large Population

A third factor that can make a country important is having a large population.

Countries with bigger populations play a larger role in world affairs. Having more people means a country often has a larger economy, greater cultural reach and has more businesses and international trade.

Having a bigger population means a country make more individual connections around the world – there are simply more people to travel globally and meet other people. Essentially, you are more likely to have met someone from countries such as the US, China, Brazil or India, because they have large populations. These kinds of human connections are actually a key way for a country to be seen as important.

Countries with small populations often struggle to have a global impact. They simply have less people to be economically productive and make connections around the world. The size of a country’s population is a key factor in making it important. The bigger a nations population, often the more important it is seen as being.

4. Being Geographically Big

Another thing that makes a country important is its geographical size.

Bigger countries are generally seen as being globally important. By covering a large area, these countries often dominate their regions. They also often have larger economies and populations, adding to their importance.

Nations such as Russia, the United States, Brazil, India and China are all seen as being among the most important countries in the world. They also some of the largest.

Countries that are geographically big often play a major role on the world stage. Their large size means they have significant resources that they can deploy in order to influence global affairs.

5. Having Significant Military Strength

One factor that can make a country important is its military strength.

Countries that have large and power armed forces play a major role in world affairs. Not only are they able to defeat many other nations, but they are also less likely to be attacked. Major military powers, such as the United States, China and India, play a vital role in their regions, as well as have the capacity to undertake military operations all over the world – this makes them important nations.

For a nation to be seen as important based on its military strength it not only needs a large armed forces, but also a technologically advanced one. High quality training and equipment is key to making a country’s military a formidable fighting force. A proven track record of successful military campaigns also adds to a country being seen as important due to the strength of its armed forces.

Many countries build up their militaries because they feel it adds to their global importance. In many ways they are not wrong.

6. Utilizing Soft Power

A key way that nations make themselves important is by effectively utilizing soft power.

In geopolitics, soft power is the art of co-opting, rather than coercing, other nations to act in a country’s interests. There a many ways that nations deploy soft power. These can include through diplomatic forums, alliances, embassies and consulates, humanitarian and development aid, and sporting and cultural promotion.

The most important nations in the world have all developed strong soft power tools and deploy them around the world. This means they are able to work effectively with other nations in order to ensure their strategic goals are met. It also means they can promote themselves well, ensuring that many people around the world view them with a positive image.

Soft power is a key tool in how nations affect global affairs. It also one way that nations become important.

7. Having Global Brands

A final way that countries become important is by having major global brands.

Companies can act as ambassadors for their countries. Many famous brands are closely identified with the countries they come from – Ford for the United States, Chanel for France, Rolex for the UK or even Vegemite for Australia. Not only do companies such as these help to create a positive image for a nation around the world, but they are also seen as embodying their values and cultures. By having world famous brands, a country can become better known on the global stage, and increasingly be seen as important.

Another way that having top global companies can make a country important is by helping to attract top talent. Well educated people with technical skills and relevant experience gravitate towards good jobs. Many want to work for leading companies in their sectors. This can mean top talent moves to countries with successful global brands, increasing the quality of their labor markets – as well as the connections that country has around the world.

Many countries with leading global companies are seen as some of the most important nations in the world.


Duncan is the founder of Global Affairs Explained. With a fascination for international relations. global events, history and geo-politics, Duncan established Global Affairs Explained to provide concise guides and original research on current and historical events.

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