The Legatum Institute, an international think tank and educational charity focused on promoting prosperity has released its annual global Prosperity Index.
The Index –now in its eighth year- ranks 142 countries in terms of wealth and wellbeing and compares no less than 89 different variables which range from GDP per capita and the number of full-time workers to how well-rested people fell and the number of secure servers a country has. The countries are ranked based on their performance in eight sub-categories: Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Economy, Education, Health, Personal Freedom, Social Capital and Safety & Security. They represent over 96 per cent of the world’s population and 99 per cent of the world’s GDP.
Norway tops the Prosperity Index once again [it has been first for the last seven years] thanks to its good performance in all sub-categories. Switzerland is the runner-up, a position it has maintained for the past three years thanks to its stellar results: it ranks first in “Governance,” second in “Economy” and third in “Entrepreneurship & Opportunity” and “Health.”
Denmark enjoys a high social capital score, top level education and flawless governance, which is why it has climbed one place. However, a poor health score prevented it from obtaining a better position.
New Zealand is this year’s most prosperous non-European country thanks to its strong community engagement and social cohesion. Plus, it has the best level of social capital.
Australia ranked closely behind in 7th overall. Sweden has the world’s highest level of “Entrepreneurship & Opportunity,” which is why it occupies the fifth position this year.
Canada is number one when it comes to personal freedom, but its level of “Entrepreneurship & Opportunity” is one of the reasons why it no longer occupies the fifth positon. Australia remains consistent –it has secured the seventh position for the third year in a row. This time, Australia was rated as having the best education system in the world.
Netherlands has gained one place in the Index thanks to its overall good scores, especially in education, health and social capital. Finland fell one place from eighth in 2014 due to poor results in the economy sub-section, although it has one of the best levels of governance in the world. Ireland now occupies the tenth position, a notable improvement after last year it ranked 12 in this Index. Its new position stems from the good results it obtained in the “Safety & Security” and “Personal Education” sub-categories.
The United States’ results in “Safety & Security” sub-category are as bad as Finland’s numbers in “Economy,” which is why the U.S. occupies the 33rd position in this sub-section. Overall, it occupies the 11th position and is followed by Iceland, Luxemburg, Germany and the U.K.
Russia ranked 58 in this Index, Syria 136 and Afghanistan and Central African Republic ranked 141 and 142 respectively.
A full report can be viewed at: http://www.li.com/activities/publications/2015-legatum-prosperity-index.