The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index Table Rankings has been published, showing some interesting results.
The top three nations in the overall rankings are Nordic – Norway 1, Denmark 2, Sweden 3, with Finland 7 and Iceland 15 – only two places behind the UK at 13.
Behind the three Nordic nations were two antipodean ones, Australia at 4 and New Zealand at 5.
Norway’s results are extraordinarily good, with only one ranking below 6th place across 8 categories – and that was ‘Governance’ at 13. It has one first place, two seconds, two fourths, two sixths and the one thirteenth.
The UK, at 13th overall, had four categories ranked below that level and four on or above it. Its lowest ranking was at 30 [out of 142], shamingly for Education. It ranked 26 for Economy; 20 for Safety and Security and 18 for Health. Its best rankings were 6 for Entrepreneurship and Opportunity and 7 for Governance.
The UK’s two worst scores, as above, are even more worrying because each is showing a progressive decline over the last three years. The UK Economy was ranked 18 in 2010, 21 in 2011 and is now at 26 for 2012, a marked decline. Education was at 22 in 2010, improved to 19 in 2011 and then fell by almost 50% to 30 in 2012.
Interestingly, Switzerland, at 9 overall, was ranked behind the UK in Education – at 32; with its second worst ranking at 22 for Personal Freedom. With a top rank of 1 for Economy, financial success obviously comes at a price.
Unsurprisingly, chilled out Ireland was ranked 4 for Personal Freedom [Canada came top at 1 in this category]. Incidentally, Ireland at 10 overall was ahead of the UK and the USA at 12.
Of the EU countries, Germany the economic engine, is one behind the UK at 14 overall – but its economy is at 6 and Heath at 5. France is below it at 21 overall, with its Economy ranked one below that at 22, its highest ranking at 9 for Health and its lowest at 40 for Social Capital.
Of the troubled EU economies, Greece is lowest overall at 49 overall, with its Economy at 85 and Personal Freedom at 121. Italy is at 33 with its Economy at 36, Health its best rank at 19 and Safety and Security its worst at 42. Portugal is at 26 with its Economy at 51, Social Capital at 67 and Personal Freedom at 13. Spain is at 23, with its Economy at 40, its highest rank at 10 is for Education and 18 for Personal Freedom.
Of the growth economies of the so-called BRIC nations [Brazil, Russia, India, China], Brazil is ranked highest overall at 44, with its highest ranking for Personal Freedom at 25. China is at 55 – but with its Economy at 11 and Personal Freedom at 128. Russia is at 66 with Education at 27, ahead of the UK. India is at 101 overall, driven down by its very low rankings for Social Capital at 138 and safety and Security at 114, – obviously affected by the proximity of Pakistan whose Safety and Security ranking was 139. And India is at 49 for Governance, probably the legacy of empire.
At the desperate end of the index, Zimbabwe had the lowest ranking for Economy at 142, with Liberia at 141 and Haiti at 140.
Yemen was worst for Personal Freedom at 142, followed by Iraq at 141 and Egypt at 140.
The Central African Republic, ranked at 142, the lowest overall, had the lowest Education ranking at 142, with Niger at 141 and Chad at 140.
This is the sort of index you play in addictively for hours. For fellow nerds, here it is.