- Norway has topped the list of the world’s most prosperous countries, followed by Denmark and Sweden in the annual rankings
- The U.S. has dropped out of the Legatum Prosperity Index’s top ten for the first time to 12th position
- The UK has kept its place 13th in the global index
PUBLISHED: 12:31 EST, 3 November 2012 | UPDATED: 12:31 EST, 3 November 2012
Norway has been crowned the most prosperous country in the world for the fifth year running.
But the U.S. has dropped out of the Legatum Prosperity Index’s top ten for the first time to 12th position.
According to the annual survey, which benchmarks 142 countries worldwide, the UK has continued to lag, retaining its place 13th in the list.
Scandinavian countries have continued to dominate the top of the global index, which takes measurements from across eight categories: economy, education, entrepreneurship & opportunity, governance, health, personal freedom, safety & security and social capital.
THE PROSPERITY INDEX
1 – Norway
2 – Denmark
3 – Sweden
4 – Australia
5 – New Zealand
6 – Canada
7 – Finland
8 – Netherlands
9 – Switzerland
10 – Ireland
11 – Luxembourg
12 – U.S.
13 – UK
14 – Germany
15 – Iceland
16 – Austria
17 – Belgium
18 – Hong Kong
19 – Singapore
20 – Taiwan
21 – France
22 – Japan
23 – Spain
24 – Slovenia
25 – Malta
Norway, Denmark and Sweden are ranked first, second and third place respectively.
In Europe, overall prosperity has risen, with the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany climbing the rankings into eighth, tenth and 14th position.
However, more than two thirds of European countries have seen their Economy score fall in the index since 2009 as economic woes sweep across the region.
A new generation of Asian ‘Tiger Cub’ countries has emerged, with Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia all performing well.
They are edging closer to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, which all sit in the top 25 countries.
Jeffrey Gedmin, president and chief executive of the Legatum Institute, said: ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index allows us to paint a comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful.
‘It encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of wellbeing – from how safe they feel, to their perceived personal freedom. GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity.
‘We believe that by measuring the quality of education, healthcare, social capital and opportunity, our Prosperity Index gives the clearest view of how countries are prospering today and how they are likely to prosper in the future.’