During the run-up to every U.S. presidential election, countless Americans threaten to move to Canada if their preferred candidate does not emerge victorious. Well, maybe they should.

Dollar_Falling_from_GlobeCanada ranks No. 1 in our annual look at the Best Countries for Business. While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most. The $1.6 trillion economy is the ninth biggest in the world and grew 3.1% last year. It is expected to expand 2.4% in 2011, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

Canada is the only country that ranks in the top 20 in 10 metrics that we considered to determine the Best Countries for Business (we factored in 11 overall). It ranks in the top five for both investor protection as well as lack of red tape, which measures how easy it is to start a business.

Top Ten Countries Best for Business:
1. Canada
2. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong
4. Ireland
5. Denmanrk
6. Singapore
7. Sweden
8. Norway
9. United Kingdom
10. United States

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Source: Kurt Badenhausen | Forbes