Global prosperity is now at its highest level in ten years, with Denmark at the forefront, in 148 countries out of 167 with higher levels during that period, driven by more open economies and better living conditions. The figure is derived from the Legatum Institute 2019 Prosperity Index, published today in London, which explains that the increase has been motivated by factors such as the fact that economies are now more open and vital improvements in health, education, and living conditions around the world.
However, those levels could be even higher if they were not held back by "weaker" personal freedoms and the "deterioration" of governments, the Institute explained in a statement. While global prosperity continues to improve, the gap between the strongest and weakest countries continues to widen.
10 most prosperous countries in the world
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Luxembourg, and Iceland are the ten most prosperous countries in the world, while South Sudan, Yemen, Central African Republic, Chad, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, and Sudan are the ten with the worst global levels.
According to this index, economies are more open due to improvements in investment environments and digital connectivity, as well as reduced administrative burdens. Another finding is that people are now more tolerant globally, but there is less freedom to talk, associate, and meet.
In the last decade, all regions of the world have experienced positive ascents, with the greatest change occurring in the Asia Pacific. Around the world, market access and infrastructure have improved, with more than twice as much Internet access and broadband reaching levels six times higher than in 2009.
The study also reveals that overall living conditions, health, and education have improved and are now at their highest levels. Of all regions except North America, improvements have been noted in all three areas. Philippa Stroud, CEO of the Legatum Institute, said prosperity is "much more than material wealth; it also encompasses well-being, security, freedom, and opportunity. "But without an open and competitive economy, it is very complex to create lasting social and economic goods," she warned.
Although prosperity has reached a new peak, the index warns that in terms of institutional well-being, although Asia Pacific, Western Europe, and Latin America, and the Caribbean regions have seen improvements, all others have suffered a decline, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) showing the greatest deterioration. At this point, it highlights that the government has declined globally while personal liberties have deteriorated in that decade.
Other data reveal that while security levels have risen since 2017 as political violence and terrorism have been reduced, they remain below 2009 levels; and they have fallen significantly in the MENA region due to the increase in the number of new conflicts and terrorist activities in those regions over the past ten years. However, during the same period, the world has become more tolerant towards other social groups, particularly the LGBT community.
Stephen Brien, director of policy at the Legatum Institute, said the findings of this index "also reinforce the belief that the strength of personal and social relationships, social norms and civic participation is inherent and essential components of a "prosperous society.