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A new survey shows the United States is the most admired country, thanks mostly to the admiration that people around the world have for President Barack Obama.

The New York-based market research company GfK on Monday released its annual Nation Brands Index, after polling 20,000 people in 20 developed and developing countries.  In the poll, the United States rose from 7th last year to number 1 this year.

Index founder and consultant Simon Anholt said the 2009 results show the new U.S. administration has been well-received abroad.  Anholt said he has never before seen such a dramatic change in the poll standing of any nation.

Germany, which topped the 2008 poll, fell to number 3.  France remained at number 2.  Rounding out the top 10 were Britain, Japan, Italy, Canada, Switzerland and Australia, with Spain and Sweden tied for 10th.

China rose several spots to 22nd.  The last two nations in the survey were Angola at number 49 and Iran at number 50.


Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.