Global Attractiveness Index

A platform to measure country attractiveness and to discuss the factors and strategies that most affect it.

The GAI Index compares 148 economies globally which represent 95% of the world population and 99% of Gross Domestic Product in four macro-areas of attractiveness (Openness, Innovation, Endowment and Efficiency) and two cornerstones of competitiveness (Dynamism, Sustainability and Growth Expectations). The Index undergoes an independent statistical audit by the European Commission Joint Research Center.

The Global Attractiveness Index research project was launched in 2016 to make available to Italian and international decision-makers an innovative country index that can offer a representative profile of the attractiveness and competitive sustainability of countries and, as a result, provide dependable information to aid in making system-wide choices about growth and optimization of the pro-business environment.

The GAI measures the attractiveness of a country using a range of primarily quantitative indicators that represent the various aspects of a country’s attractiveness, dynamism and sustainability. Specifically, the GAI analyzes attractiveness from a dual perspective:

  • internal—the ability to retain resources already present in the area;
  • external—the ability to attract new resources from the outside.

A distinctive feature of the Global Attractiveness Index is that it reconstructs its series from past data to reflect in each year’s report the updates issued by the leading international statistical bodies from which the data bases are derived.

In fact, for correct comparison of the Index over time, the time series on which the indicator is built must be technically comparable and gathered using the same criteria. In some cases, the same piece of data obtained years later may be subject to re-evaluation, both because of changes in the methodology of data collection, as well as differences between an initial estimated value and the final value. 

For this reason, as it does every year, The European House – Ambrosetti reconstructed the database of the Global Attractiveness Index for the last six years (2013-2019) by drawing on the most up-to-date sources. Following this, the Global Attractiveness Index was recalculated on the past six years, based on the most recent data released. Back-calculation of the Index is an important methodological approach of the Global Attractiveness Index that, on the one hand, makes it possible to take account of the changes connected with updating the time series and, on the other, guarantees the comparison over time of the KPIs and the Positioning Index (PI) for each country, providing a more representative and transparent picture of the progress made by the various economies over time.

Who are the winners and losers in the 2021 GAI?

Only 8 countries are positioned in the high attractiveness range (equal to 5.4% of the total). Italy, along with 12 other countries (8.8% of the total), has a medium-high level of attractiveness. 51 countries have a medium-low attractiveness (34.5%), while 76 countries have a low attractiveness (51.3%). Furthermore, it is important to underline that the top 20 countries attract nearly 30% of global attractiveness. In GAI 2021, Italy ranks 20th.

The Index also undergoes an independent audit carried out by the Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
The Scientific Committee of the Global Attractiveness Index project is comprised of:

  • Ferruccio De Bortoli erruccio De Bortolie della Sera)
  • Lorenzo Bini Smaghi (Economist; former Member of the Executive Committee, European Central Bank)
  • Roberto Monducci (former Director of the Department of Statistics, ISTAT)
  • Enrico Giovannini (Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility) – until February 2021



As part of the collaboration between The European House – Ambrosetti and Radio Activa, the DATASCAPES program has been created as part of its web radio programming.

The first four episodes will center on issues involving the Global Attractiveness Index.
The title of the first episode is: “Vulnerability and Resilience: what is the situation in Italy and what are the weak points the COVID-19 emergency has brought to light? The uniquely-Italian dilemma between ‘investing in the future’ and ‘debt for the future’”.