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Uruguay #1 for Prosperity in South America; Venezuela and Bolivia the Worst in the Region, Finds Legatum Prosperity Index
Date:10/26/2009

LONDON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The third edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index, published today, ranks 104 countries (covering 90% of the world's population), based on a definition of prosperity that combines economic growth together with measures of happiness and quality of life.

The highest ranking South American countries are Uruguay, Chile and Argentina at 33(rd), 36(th), and 38(th) place respectively, whose citizens all claim high levels of personal freedom. The lowest performing country in the region is Venezuela which is placed at 74(th) on the Index, narrowly led by Bolivia (73(rd)) and Ecuador (71(st)).

"The Legatum Prosperity Index is the world's only global assessment of wealth and wellbeing," said Dr. William Inboden, Senior Vice President of the Legatum Institute. "Across South America, countries with high scores for Democratic Institutions and Personal Freedom generally record a strong overall ranking for prosperity," he continued. "Furthermore, countries which have low levels of internal safety and security, such as Venezuela, finish lower in the overall rankings. This strongly suggests that a country can improve its prosperity by promoting the fundamentals of life satisfaction as much as the standard measurements of wealth such as GDP," concluded Dr. Inboden.

The success of countries like Uruguay, Chile and Brazil in promoting economic growth and personal freedoms can be linked to their commitment to embrace human development and market freedom which fosters overall prosperity. In contrast, the lower rankings of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador reflect their populist rulers' policies that stifle business by nationalising entire industries once they become profitable and whose cities are characterised by high levels of crime.

Key Findings from the 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index

  • Finland tops the overall Index, followed by several European nations such
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SOURCE Legatum
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