The Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ is an annual ranking of 149 countries that covers 96% of the world’s population and 99% of global GDP.

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The Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ is an annual ranking of 149 countries that covers 96% of the world’s population and 99% of global GDP.

Summary

Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future. This is true for individuals as well as nations.

We believe that every individual has immense personal value and potential and, for us, prosperity requires that people have the opportunity to fulfil that potential and to help others realise theirs. That means prosperity can never just be about material wealth; at its core it also entails personal and social wellbeing, such as having a home, an education and family and friends who care for us. The journey towards prosperity is therefore not just about what we contribute, but about who we become.

The goal of the Legatum Prosperity Index™ is simple: by illustrating how countries have moved toward or away from prosperity, we want to help identify those pathways that lead from poverty to prosperity.

To achieve that goal, the Prosperity Index describes the conditions required for prosperity. We describe these conditions as the combination of nine pillars: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health, and the Natural Environment. Using data for 149 countries over eleven years, we track the journeys made by countries towards or away from prosperity.

Reflecting the deeper foundations of success, the 2017 report focuses on the institutional elements of prosperity. We look at the role of Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital and Safety and Security in underpinning both wealth and wellbeing. The strengthening of these pillars enables the development of the other aspects of prosperity. When they are undermined, we see a corresponding decline across other pillars.

Key Findings in 2017

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Prosperity is growing, but not everywhere

What true prosperity is, and how it can be realised, are fundamental questions that must be answered by every country. This year the global findings reveal good news – prosperity is rising. But there are major challenges facing many countries and regions.

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Personal freedom: Slowly recovering

Personal Freedom has recovered from a worldwide low in 2012, bettering its 2007 level for the first time. Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa registered the strongest growth this year, with Latin America and the Caribbean also making improvements.

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Governance: At its highest in 11 years

Having fallen sharply for four years, from a high in 2009, the quality of Governance around the world has now rebounded and is now at its highest level in the history of the Index. All regions of the world saw Governance improve in 2017, with Asia-Pacific rising fastest.

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The image above shows the rankings of countries on the 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index.

 

“The Prosperity Index finds a strong and mutually-reinforcing relationship between a nation’s economic growth and the happiness of its citizens”
John Howard, Former Prime Minister of Australia