Err, not the UK (but it's not all bad…)
A list of the happiest, healthiest and richest countries in the world has been revealed – and disappointingly for us, the UK didn’t crack the top ten.
The annual Prosperity Index by The Legatum Institute – a London-based think tank – analysed 142 countries comparing 89 variables which include: employment levels in relation to how well-rested residents feel, gross domestic product (GDP), quality of education, health, governance stability, personal freedom and even the number of secure internet servers within a country.
Taking these factors into account, researchers then determined the most ‘prosperous’ nation in the world overall – an honour that has been bestowed upon Norway. Meanwhile, Switzerland was ranked number two on the list and Denmark came in as the third most prosperous country in the world.
And the UK? Well, according to the think tank we’re ranked number 15 globally – one place behind Germany, four behind the United States and eleven behind New Zealand.
Other countries to make the top 20 grade include Japan, which came in at the 19th most prosperous country in the world and Hong Kong which is ranked 20th. Nations doing the worst include Syria, Tunisia and Venezuela.
Norway topped the list due to the freedom it offers its citizens, the quality of its healthcare system and social bonds between its people, and overall the Scandinavian countries dominated the charts with Sweden, Finland and Iceland coming in at number five, nine and 12, respectively.
However before you up and sail to Scandinavia, the Legatum Institute also revealed that these same countries are struggling to bring unemployment levels down. 7.8% of Sweden’s population can’t find a job, with that number rising to 9.4% in Finland.
The Prosperity Index has been charting the socio-ecomomic changes in countries around the world for seven years. Researchers noted that in all parts of world other than Europe, things are becoming more dangerous with global increases in violent crime in all non-European countries on the list. Shockingly, the report reveals that the United States apparently has the same level of political violence as Saudi Arabia and the super-power nation is down two places on the ‘Safety and Security’ sub-index from last year.
Other interesting findings include Canada as the ‘freest’ country in the world, and the UK as the best country in Europe for people starting businesses. Researchers revealed that 88% of us believe that if you work hard you can get ahead in life, up from 84% last year, and that a huge majority of us (91%) believe that we can rely on others in times of need.
Here is the list of the top 20 countries that made the annual Prosperity Index for 2015:
4. New Zealand
8. The Netherlands
11. United States
15. United Kingdom
20. Hong Kong