Norway world’s most prosperous country for the fifth year in a row

Norway has kept its 1st place on the overall Prosperity Index from 2009 to 2013. A unique insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world.


Norway has been ranked the world’s most prosperous country for the fifth year in a row by the Legatum Prosperity Index, followed by Switzerland, and Canada. The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking, developed by the Legatum Institute, of 142 countries. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth and quality of life.

Traditionally, a nation’s prosperity has been based solely on macroeconomic indicators such as a country’s income, represented either by GDP or by average income per person (GDP per capita). However, most people would agree that prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future. The Prosperity Index is distinctive in that it is the only global measurement of prosperity based on both income and wellbeing.

Norway ranks first in overall Prosperity, as it has since 2009, confirming its place as the most prosperous country in the world for the fifth consecutive year. The country also ranks first in the Economy and Social Capital sub-indices in 2013. The country leapt five places in the index’s Entrepreneurship and Opportunity category, after it saw rapid development in internet bandwidth and per capita mobile phone ownership. But it saw a worsening performance in the safety and security category, dropping four places to sixth place.

“Since the inaugural Legatum Prosperity Index, the world has seen a continuous increase in prosperity with citizens in many countries experiencing improving wealth and wellbeing,” said Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute. “But we cannot afford to be complacent. Issues of war, governance and personal freedom continue to dog the Middle East and parts of Africa. Leading nations are not exempt.”

The top 10 prosperous countries includes Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.


Key Findings of The Legatum Prosperity Index:

US Drops out of top 20 in the economy sub-index.
This year, the US has moved down four places to 24th in the Economy sub-index. Countries that have overtaken the US in the Economy sub-index include New Zealand (17th) and South Korea (19th), among others.
Mexico overtakes Brazil in the Economy sub-index.
Mexico has increased seven places to 27th in the Economy sub-index, overtaking Brazil (32nd). However, Mexico still trails Brazil in the overall Prosperity Index, ranking 59th compared to Brazil at 46th.
Bangladesh overtakes India in overall Prosperity.

Bangladesh (103rd) ranks above India (106th) in the Prosperity Index for the first time in 2013. Although Bangladesh ’s rank has remained constant since last year, India has declined five places in the same period. India has fallen down the Prosperity Index rankings consistently over the last five years.
Latin America and the Caribbean rise above the world average in the Economy sub-index for the first time in 2013.
Countries showing big improvements include Mexico (27th), Chile (30th), Panama (31st) and Brazil (32nd), as well as Nicaragua (56th) and the Dominican Republic (76th).
The UK declines from 13th to 16th overall this year.
The UK has moved down three places to 16th in overall Prosperity, as a result of decreases in the rankings for six out eight sub-indices since last year. The UK has been leapfrogged by Austria (15th), Germany (14th), and Iceland (13th).
Eight of the bottom 15 countries on the Personal Freedom sub-index are in the MENA region.

Turkey (130th), Saudi Arabia (131st), Algeria (132nd), Syria (133rd), Jordan (136th), Yemen (140th), Iraq (141st), and Egypt (142nd) are in the bottom 15 countries in the Personal Freedom sub-index, which measures factors such as the guarantee of individual freedom and social tolerance.

Nine of the top ten countries on the Entrepreneurship & Opportunity sub-index are from Europe.

The top ten countries include Sweden (1st), Denmark (2nd), Finland (3rd), Switzerland (4th), Luxembourg (5th), Norway (6th), Iceland (7th), Netherlands (8th), and United Kingdom (9th). Hong Kong makes up the top 10, placing 10th in the sub-index.
Personal Freedom is the sub-index in which sub-Saharan African countries rank highest.

Twenty-four sub-Saharan countries rank in the top 100 in the Personal Freedom sub-index. Benin (28th), Côte D’Ivoire (37th), Namibia (39th), Burkina Faso (40th), and Botswana (41st), are the five highest ranking sub-Saharan countries in the Personal Freedom sub-index.


Botswana is the highest ranking Sub-Saharan country for the fifth consecutive year.

Botswana also ranks the highest in the region in the Governance sub-index (28th) and is the second highest in the Education sub-index (92nd) after South Africa (91st).