Where does your country land in the Legatum Prosperity Index?

A “Prosperity Index”?

prosperity1The Legatum Institute just published its 2012 Prosperity Index which ranks 142 countries in the world along 8 different factors:

  • Economy
  • Entrepreneurship & Opportunity
  • Governance
  • Education
  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Personal Freedom
  • Social Capital

In this latest ranking, the top 10 countries in descending order are:

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Sweden
  4. Australia
  5. New Zealand
  6. Canada
  7. Finland
  8. Netherlands
  9. Switzerland
  10. Ireland

As you can see there is a concentration of the Scandinavian countries at the top. USA has ranked 12 overall. But it is notable that in economy and safety & security it has ranked 20 and 27 respectively. Its highest rank is in health at #2, which is a surprise. Perhaps they didn’t quite consider the unreasonably high cost of healthcare in USA.

It’s interesting that the emerging powers such as China and India rank quite a bit lower. For example China’s rank is 55, Russia is 66 and India surprisingly only ranks 101, next to Iran at 102! And naturally troubled countries such as Iraq (131) and Afghanistan (140) are further down in the list.

This begs the question of how they score and determine the ranking. Legatum publishes detailed info about its methodology. At high level it defines prosperity as “a combination of wealth and well-being”. The default ranking is based on an equal weight for the 8 factors. What is cool about this ranking and its UI is that you can change the weights for each factor on the fly and see the result interactively. For example if you think that education and health should weigh more than Governance (as they should), you can reflect that in the chart and see how that impacts the ranking.

Legatum defines itself as a UK-based “international think tank and educational charity focused on promoting prosperity” via researching its “core themes of revitalising capitalism and democracy”.

This piece is based on my original post on my Tumblr.

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