China : As the most populous nation in the world, China is a powerful country that continues to rise in influence in recent history. Though China's military spending is just a fraction of that of the United States, China is ranked second for its defense. China is also ranked second worldwide for its nominal GDP according to the United Nations.
France : France ranks fifth by both military spending and nominal GDP, and takes the twenty-first slot for population. Still, France is an influential nation with a high standard of living and strong involvement in international issues.
United Kingdom : The United Kingdom has long been a world superpower, once controlling a quarter of the land on Earth. Today, the UK is ranked the fourth most powerful country, ranking fourth in military spending, sixth in GDP, and twenty-second in population.
Germany : Germany is known for its strong economy, which ranks fourth worldwide, as well as its innovative technology sector. A fairly large country for Europe, Germany ranks sixteenth largest nation by population. Germany also has a strong military presence, ranking ninth in military spending.
Russia : The largest country in the world in size, Russia is a top military spender, ranking third worldwide. Russia also has more mineral resources than any country in the world, and is the largest oil and gas producer.
Japan : Japan's strong economy ranks third worldwide, aided by its auto industry, science, and technology. Japan spends the sixth highest amount on its military and defense budget, despite officially renouncing its right to declare war. Though Japan is a small country in area, it has the tenth highest population worldwide.
Italy : Though Italy has faced financial and political struggles in recent history, it has the eighth largest economy in the world, and enjoys a high standard of living that ranks in the top ten. A world power since the Roman Empire, Italy ranks high in military spending, and is a longtime member in international organizations, such as the EU, UN, and NATO.
Canada : A generally neutral nation, Canada is strong and large nation, as the second largest country in the world after Russia. Close ties to the United States and a commonwealth of the United Kingdom help make Canada a powerful ranking, as do its wealth natural resources and high standard of living that gives it sixth place on the human development index. Canada also enjoys a strong economy with the ninth highest GDP in the world.
Spain : Like the United Kingdom, Spain once controlled much of the New World, and with continued claims to some overseas territories. Spain's economy is ranked twelfth worldwide, just after Russia, though it has struggled during the recent recession. However, Spain's interests in renewable energy have propelled its power ranking, making it the world leader in solar power, with strength in other forms of green energy, such as hydroelectric energy.
|Top Ten Powerful Countries|
|Country||Capital City||Continents||Currency||National Power Index (NPI)|
|United States of America||Washington DC||North America||US Dollar||0.9|
|France||Paris||Europe||Euro (Formerly French Franc)||0.84|
|United Kingdom||London||Europe||Pound Sterling||0.83|
|Germany||Berlin||Europe||Euro (Formerly Deutsche Mark)||0.77|
|Italy||Rome||Europe||Euro (Formerly Italian Lira)||0.7|
|Canada||Ottawa||North America||Canadian Dollar||0.68|
|Spain||Madrid||Europe||Euro (Formerly Peseta)||0.67|
Last Updated on: December 24, 2012