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The Top 26 prosperous countries in the world – the US is not in the Top 10

The Legatum Institute, a think tank based in London, on Monday released its annual global Prosperity Index, a huge survey that ranks what it calls the most prosperous countries in the world.

The amount of money a country has is one factor of prosperity, but the Legatum Institute considered more than that in its ranking.

The organization compared 89 variables to come up with its list. These variables include traditional indicators like per-capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work, but also more interesting figures such as the number of secure internet servers a country has and how well rested people feel on a day-to-day basis.

The variables are then split into eight subindexes: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital. Make sure to check out their interactive data chart and other infographic material. They’re pretty cool. Unfortunately, WP will not allow anyone to embed any iframes otherwise I would show them here.

The index looked at the 142 countries in the world that have the most available data. Here are the results:

26. Czech Republic
The nation in Central Europe has jumped three places this year. In the economy subindex it was rated very highly – 13th – but it performed badly in the index’s social-capital ranking.
(Country Profile)

The Charles Bridge in Prague.
25. Slovenia
As with the Czech Republic, education in Slovenia scored very highly. Finishing 58th out of 142 in the economy index, however, meant Slovenia fell one place this year.
(Country Profile)

Lake Bled, Slovenia
24. Spain
The most popular holiday destination for Brits scored well across the board, but top scores for education and personal freedom pushed Spain into the top 25.
(Country Profile)

The last bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona in 2012
23. Malta
Even though Malta’s education system ranked 42nd, strong scores in all other subindexes mean Malta kept the same position as last year in the Prosperity Index.
(Country Profile)

The Azure Window, a limestone rock formation in Malta.
It was once used as a location in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
22. France
France has fallen one place in this year’s ranking. Its health score was eighth overall, but a low social-capital score pushed it outside the top 20 for the third time in four years.
(Country Profile)

Performers with French flags dancing before the start of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal soccer match between Spain and France in Donetsk.
21. Taiwan
The island nation is just outside the top 20 after being given a big boost by a strong performance in safety and security, where it ranked sixth.
(Country Profile)

Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, at sunset. The world’s second-largest building, Taipei 101, can be seen in the foreground.
20. Hong Kong
People in Hong Kong can enjoy being top of the pile when it comes to safety and security and in the top 10 for entrepreneurship and opportunity.
(Country Profile)

Hong Kong’s central financial district.
19. Japan
Citizens in Japan are the seventh-healthiest on earth, according to the Prosperity Index, but the country is 33rd in terms of personal freedom, lowering its overall ranking.
(Country Profile)

The streets around the Shibuya station in the middle of Tokyo.
18. Belgium
Ranked inside the top 25 in every subindex, Belgium scored best on health (10th). Despite that, it fell by one place in the Prosperity Index this year.
(Country Profile)

Belgian waffles, one of the country’s best-known delicacies.
17. Singapore
Singapore swapped places with Belgium in this year’s Index and was helped by finishing first in the economy subindex.
(Country Profile)

A view across Singapore’s harbour to the Financial District at night.
16. Austria
Finishing inside the top 10 in two categories – health, and entrepreneurship and opportunity – wasn’t enough to stop Austria from sliding one place this year.
(Country Profile)

The Sonnschienhütte in the Austrian Alps.
15. United Kingdom
Britain fell two places this year, in part by finishing outside the top 20 in the education and safety indexes.
(Country Profile)

London, seen from a distance
14. Germany
According to the Prosperity Index, Germany has the fifth-best economy in the world, helping it stay 14th for the fourth year running.
(Country Profile)

Men in traditional Bavarian clothing after the Parade of Costumes and Riflemen on the second day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienhoehe on September 21, 2014, in Munich.
13. Luxembourg
Citizens enjoy high levels of personal freedom and health, as well as strong governance and a good economy, helping it rise from 16th in 2014 to 13th this year.
(Country Profile)

Luxembourg’s capital, and by far its largest city, Luxembourg City
12. Iceland
The north Atlantic nation finished in the top five in three subindexes: personal freedom, safety and security, and entrepreneurship and opportunity. This wasn’t enough to stop it from falling one place from the 2014 index.
(Country Profile)

A tourist looks over from Landmannalaugar to Þorsmörk in southwest Iceland.
11. United States
The world’s most powerful country scored higher than any other in the Legatum Institute’s health category, but its citizens are among the least safe and secure on this list. The USA was 33rd in this subindex.
(Country Profile)

Mount Rushmore seen from the landmark’s observation area.
10. Ireland
Ireland jumped two places in this year’s index, thanks to finishing fourth in safety and security.
(Country Profile)

Kylemore Abbey, near Connemara, in County Galway, Ireland.
9. Finland
The Finnish enjoy the fifth-best performance of governance in the world, but their relatively poor economy, ranked 33rd, has helped push the country down from eighth last year.
(Country Profile)

Finnish citizens take a post-sauna dip. Ninety percent of Finns visit a sauna at least once a week.
8. Netherlands
Gaining one place in this year’s index, the Netherlands is ranked highly in education, health, and personal freedom.
(Country Profile)

One of Amsterdam’s canals.
7. Australia
The country has ranked seventh for three consecutive years, and this year the Prosperity Index rated it as having the world’s best education system.
(Country Profile)

A road sign warning of the dangers of some of Australia’s better-known wildlife.
6. Canada
According to the Prosperity Index, Canada is the true land of the free, as its citizens enjoy the highest levels of personal freedom of any nation surveyed. It fell one place from last year.
(Country Profile)

The Rocky Mountaineer train crosses Canada.
5. Sweden
Swedes are blessed with the world’s highest levels of entrepreneurship and opportunity, helping the country gain one place in this year’s index.
(Country Profile)

A market square in Stockholm.
4. New Zealand
Strong social cohesion and community engagement mean New Zealand has the best level of social capital on earth. It was rated the most prosperous non-European nation.
(Country Profile)

Rugby World Cup winners New Zealand doing a celebratory Haka after their victory in 2011.
3. Denmark
Danes can enjoy great governance, top-level education, and a high social-capital score. If not for its relatively poor health score (16th), the country might top the whole Index. It climbed one place this year.
(Country Profile)

Fishing boats moored in the Nyhavn district of Copenhagen.
2. Switzerland
Switzerland has been second in the Prosperity Index for three consecutive years. The Alpine nation ranks top of the governance subindex and has the second-highest-rated economy.
(Country Profile)

A river flowing through the Swiss Alps in midsummer.
1. Norway
The Scandinavian country tops the Prosperity Index once again in 2015. It has been first in each of the past seven years. Norway is the only country ranked in the top 10 of every subindex.
(Country Profile)

Tourists with a Norwegian flag after climbing a mountain.


The Chive: The top 26 most prosperous countries in the world
Business Insider: The 26 happiest, richest, healthiest, and most crime-free countries in the world


    • Ayup. With all the quibbling in Congress, the corporations taking control of the country, we’re dropping in quality of life here, which means prosperity for ALL, not just the top 1%.

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