Via Business Insider: Over the past 11 years the US has declined from being the number one country to do business in to 23rd place, in Forbes' annual ranking. Meanwhile, Sweden has climbed from 17th place and finally become King of the Hill. The other nordic countries are not far behind: Denmark #6, Finland #8, and Norway #9. Forbes' ranking is based on a comprehensive compilation of data on 139 countries gathered from reports by Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank Group and World Economic Forum. The countries receive scores in 11 categories: protection of property rights, innovation, tax burden, technology, prevalence of corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), bureaucracy, investor protection and stock market performance. Sweden ranks among the top ten countries in seven of these categories. Sweden has undergone a transformation to reach the top. Sweden has reached the top position despite ranking 27th in the tax burden category. For comparison, Denmark ranks 7th, Finland 13th and Norway 25th. That being said, Sweden used to rank 38th - when it had an eight percentage points higher tax on profits, as Forbes points out. That isn't the only way Sweden has changed over the past decade. Forbes paints a picture of 'a transformation built on deregulation and budget self-restraint with cuts to Sweden’s welfare state'. The reductions in the scope of the Swedish welfare state has allowed tax cuts, incentivized employment, and, together with some scrapped taxes on wealth, successfully made Sweden consistently ranked the most or one of the most competitive economies in the world.