Prosperous Country

The most prosperous country in the world

The 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index has ranked Norway as the most prosperous country in the world for the seventh year running. It reveals that Indonesia has made the most radical improvements since 2009, while the least prosperous countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 142 countries across eight categories: the Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Education; Health; Safety & Security; Personal Freedom; and Social Capital.

  • Norway comes out on top due the freedom it offers its citizens, the quality of its healthcare system and social bonds between its people.
  • Switzerland is ranked 2nd in the Index for the third year in a row while Denmark has risen from 4th to 3rd compared to last year.

With seven years of comparable data the Prosperity Index is able to track national progress.

At the other end of the scale the poorest performers have been Syria (down 23 places), Tunisia (down 28 places) and Venezuela (down 16 places).

This year Singapore ranks 1st in the Economy sub-index, up from 2nd last year, displacing Switzerland. The country has the second highest capital per worker in the world: $240,750 per worker. 47% of the country's manufactured exports are classified as 'high-tech', the third highest in the world.

  • Indonesia has performed better than any country in the world over the past seven years, rising 21 places up the rankings to 69th this year.
  • South Africa is 75th with its best ranking category being 37 for entrepreneurship and opportunity.
  • Another strong performer since 2009 is Rwanda that has risen 17 places up the Prosperity Index and now ranks 101st.

The Prosperity Index shows that the world has become a more dangerous place since 2009. In the last seven years there have been dramatic declines in the Safety & Security sub-index in Africa and the Middle East, and all other regions except Europe have witnessed some decline. This has been driven by increased tension, violence, and displaced people. This year the United States ranks 33rd on the Safety & Security sub-index, down from 31st last year. Safety & Security is the only sub-index in which the US ranks outside the top 30. It is also the only Western country to register high levels of state-sponsored political violence. According to Amnesty International the country has the same level of political violence as Saudi Arabia.

This year the UK ranks 6th on the Entrepreneurship & Opportunity sub-index, up from 8th last year. The country now ranks the best in Europe for people starting businesses and 88% of Britons believe that if you work hard you can get ahead in life, up from 84% last year, and 78% in 2010.

Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Iceland, and Ireland are the five most tolerant countries towards immigrants. The UK comes in at 17th. 92% of Canadians believe that their country is a good place for immigrants; this figure is 90% for Norway, New Zealand, and Iceland; and 89% for Ireland.

Canada is now the freest country in the world, having risen five places to 1st in the Personal Freedom sub-index. The country is the most tolerant of immigrants in the world. 92% of people think the country is a good place for immigrants. It is also the fifth most tolerant of ethnic minorities. 92% of people think that the country is a good place for ethnic minorities. 94% of Canadians believe that they have the freedom to choose the course of their own lives - the fifth highest in the world.

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