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
The Prosperity Index identifies nine key factors that drive economic growth and personal wellbeing, which are the foundations of prosperity. Each of these nine factors is represented in a sub-index and a country's final Prosperity Index ranking is generated by averaging its scores across all nine sub-indexes, equally weighted. More information on the Prosperity Index, including full country rankings, background on data and methodology, and profiles of each country can be found at www.prosperity.com.
Notes to Editors:
About the Legatum Prosperity Index
The 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index is based on statistical analysis of more than 40 years of data for more than 100 countries worldwide, produced and supervised by the Legatum Institute, with input from the research consultancy Oxford Analytica and a panel of respected academic advisors in the fields of economics, history, development, sociology, and political science.
2009 Legatum Prosperity Index Rankings Summary
TOP TWENTY COUNTRIES SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN 1. Finland 32. Costa Rica 2. Switzerland 33. Uruguay 3. Sweden 36. Chile 4. Denmark 38. Argentina 5. Norway 40. Trinidad & Tobago 6. Australia 41. Brazil 7. Canada 42. Panama 8. Netherlands 49. Jamaica 9. United States 52. Belize 10. New Zealand 54. Dominican republic 11. Ireland 57. Paraguay 12. United Kingdom 60. El Salvador 13. Belgium 61. Peru 14. Germany 65. Colombia 15. Austria 66. Honduras 16. Japan 67. Guatemala 17. France 71. Ecuador 18. Hong Kong 72. Nicaragua 19. Spain 73. Bolivia 20. Slovenia 74. Venezuela BOTTOM TEN COUNTRIES 95. Kenya 96. Algeria 97. Tanzania 98. Nigeria 99. Pakistan 100. Cameroon 101. Central African Republic 102. Yemen 103. Sudan 104. Zimbabwe
How the Index is constructed
The Prosperity Index accounts for 90 percent of the world's population, using a combination of objective data and subjective responses to surveys. This data comprises 79 different variables, and each is then distilled into one of the nine different sub-indexes identified as a foundation of prosperity. A country's performance in each sub-index is given a score, and the overall Prosperity Index rankings are produced by averaging the equally-weighted scores of the 9 sub-indexes for each country. Those countries that perform well across each sub-index score highest in the overall rankings.
The nine foundations of prosperity that define successful nations are:
About the Legatum Institute
The Legatum Institute ("LI") is an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organisation. The Institute's mission is to research and promote the principles that drive the creation of global prosperity and the expansion of human liberty and wellbeing.
For more information about the Legatum Institute, please visit www.li.com.
The Institute is part of the Legatum Group, a private global investment organization focused on investing in the international capital markets and the promotion of sustainable development.
For more information about the Legatum Group, please visit www.Legatum.com.
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