It is the highest ever rating for Britain in the BBC World Service Country Rating Poll. Last year, it was placed third.
Almost 29,000 people worldwide were asked to rate the positive and negative influence of 16 major nations.
Britain’s positive rating for 2011 was 58 per cent, up from 53 per cent in 2010. Negative views of Britain decreased by two per cent, now standing at 17 per cent.
Of the 27 countries polled, 24 were positive towards Britain while two, Pakistan and Mexico, have overall negative views.
Those with the most positive views of Britain were in the United States, at 80 per cent.
They were followed by Australia at 79 per cent and Canada at nearly 70 per cent. Germany was the most positively viewed nation, with 62 per cent of those surveyed rating its influence as positive.
A spokesman for Globescan, the company which carried out the survey, said: “To some degree everyone has done better this year – a reversal of the trend last year when the economic crisis affected ratings.
“Aside from last year’s slump, for the UK the aftermath of Iraq is receding. It’s our role on the world stage. We were seen to play a prominent role in the aftermath of the financial crisis. We are high profile as a successful, democratic, stable, developed country with relatively little baggage.”
He said Germany continued to benefit from its reputation as a wealthy nation.
“In terms of lifestyle and its high-quality products, Germany has a successful image and doesn’t have the baggage that countries like the US and China have, which can be seen as culturally controversial,” he said.
Canada was the third most popular of the countries polled, followed by
Japan, France and Brazil. The US came seventh ahead of China, South Africa and India.
The three most negatively viewed countries saw their average ratings drop significantly.
Iran was bottom of the poll with its negative rating at 59 per cent, up three points since last year, North Korea’s negative rating was up six points at 55 per cent. Pakistan’s negative rating was up five points at 56 per cent.