Scotland have moved up two places in the Fifa world rankings as four of their five World Cup qualifying Group A rivals have slipped down the table.
Craig Levein's side are now in 49th place, 41 places below Croatia, who have moved up four places to eighth.
But Serbia have dropped four places to 27th and Belgium are down four to 41st.
Wales have fallen five places to 50th, despite winning four of their last five games, while Macedonia have slumped 10 places to 103rd.
Group favourites Croatia's rise comes after they sealed their place at next summer's Euro 2012 finals through the play-offs.
The latest rankings were announced as the six group rivals met in Brussels in an attempt to agree a set of fixture dates for the campaign.
England have moved up to fifth from seventh in the standings, which are still led by world and European champions Spain.
The Netherlands remain second, but third-placed Germany have narrowed the gap following their 3-0 win in a friendly between the two sides.
Uruguay remain fourth after extending their unbeaten run to 13 matches, while Brazil drop to sixth.
Portugal climb one place to seventh, while the Republic of Ireland's play-off success against Estonia lifts them four places to 21st.
However, Northern Ireland are down five to 89th.