Legatum Prosperity Index

The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute, a division of the private investment firm Legatum. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal well-being, and quality of life. In the 2018 rankings, 149 countries were ranked, and Norway topped the list, followed by New Zealand and Finland. Afghanistan was in last place. In 2013, twenty-seven of the top 30 countries were democracies.[1]


The 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index is based on 104 different variables analysed across 149 nations around the world. Source data includes Gallup World Poll, World Development Indicators, International Telecommunication Union, Fragile States Index, Worldwide Governance Indicators, Freedom House, World Health Organisation, World Values Survey, Amnesty International, Centre for Systemic Peace. The 104 variables are grouped into 9 sub-indexes, which are averaged using equal weights. The 9 sub-indexes are:

  • Economic Quality
  • Business Environment
  • Governance
  • Education
  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Personal Freedom
  • Social Capital
  • Natural Environment

For example, Personal Freedom includes freedom of speech and religion, national tolerance for immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities. The Social Capital sub-index includes the percentage of citizens who volunteer, give to charity, help strangers, and who feel they can rely on family and friends.

Oxford Analytica assisted in the early development of the Prosperity Index and has contributed to shaping the methodology. Today, the annual Index is produced and published by the Legatum Institute.

The Legatum Institute operates a transparent approach to its work on the Prosperity Index. To that end, the entire methodology of the Prosperity Index along with the data used to create it is available for free online at the institute's website.

2019 rankings

Top 30

1.  Denmark
2.  Norway
3.   Switzerland
4.  Sweden
5.  Finland
6.  Netherlands
7.  New Zealand
8.  Germany
9.  Luxembourg
10.  Iceland
11.  United Kingdom
12.  Ireland
13.  Austria
14.  Canada
15.  Hong Kong
16.  Singapore
17.  Australia
18.  United States
19.  Japan
20.  Malta
21.  Estonia
22.  Belgium
23.  France
24.  Taiwan
25.  Spain
26.  Portugal
27.  Slovenia
28.  Czech Republic
29.  South Korea
30.  Italy


Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute publishes the index.


The Director of the Prosperity Index is the Danish economist Alexandra Mousavizadeh. The Prosperity Index is reviewed and critiqued by an advisory panel of academics and scholars representing a range of disciplines and includes: Prof Tim Besley (London School of Economics); Dr. Daniel Drezner (Tufts University); Dr. Carol Graham (Brookings Institution); Dr. Edmund Malesky (University of California, San Diego); Dr. Ann Owen (Hamilton College).

The Legatum Institute's International Advisory Group also contributes and assists in the Prosperity Index: Prof Peter Skerry (Boston College); Prof Dan Chirot (University of Washington); Toby Mundy CEO (Atlantic Books); and Patrick Cheung.

See also


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