August 30

Grand Slam

In comparison with politicians’ republics, constitutional monarchy has won the Grand Slam in the Legatum Institute Prosperity Index top five rankings for 2010.

The winning crowned republics – or constitutional monarchies – were, in this order, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia and New Zealand. Statistically, there should have been barely one.

With them, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States made up the first ten. Of the top ten they should only be one or two crowned republics, there are in fact eight.   

The next 10 were Ireland, Iceland United Kingdom Austria Germany Belgium Singapore Japan France and Hong Kong. Of the resulting top 20, there should have been only three constitutional monarchies; there were  in fact eleven.

The Legatum governance sub index referred to in this column yesterday is one of eight sub indices which the Institute uses in the Legatum Prosperity Index.

It says that this is is the world's only global assessment of wealth and wellbeing; unlike other studies that rank countries by actual levels of wealth, life satisfaction or development, the Prosperity Index produces rankings based upon the very foundations of prosperity, that is , those factors that will help drive economic growth and produce happy citizens over the long term.

….The Prosperity Index…..

The Prosperity Index assesses 110 countries, accounting for over 90 percent of the world’s population, and is based on 89 different variables, each of which has a demonstrated effect on economic growth or on personal wellbeing.

The eight sub-indexes, each of which represents a fundamental aspect of prosperity, are:

1.     Economy – Stable and growing economies increase per capita income and promote the overall wellbeing of its citizens.

2.     Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (E&O) – A strong entrepreneurial climate in which citizens can pursue new ideas and opportunities for improving their lives leads to higher levels of income and wellbeing.

3.     Governance – Well-governed societies enjoy national economic growth and citizen wellbeing.

4.     Education – Education is a building block for prosperous societies.

5.     Health – A strong healthcare infrastructure in which citizens are able to enjoy good physical and mental health leads to higher levels of income and wellbeing.

6.     Safety & Security – Societies plagued by threats to national security and personal safety cannot foster growth in average levels of income or wellbeing.

7.     Personal Freedom – When citizens enjoy their rights to expression, belief, organisation, and personal autonomy in a society welcoming of diversity, their country enjoys higher levels of income and social wellbeing.

8.     Social Capital – Social networks and the cohesion that a society experiences when people trust one another have a direct effect on the prosperity of a country.Each of the sub-indexes provides us with two important analyses: first, an economic assessment, and second, an assessment of a country’s subjective wellbeing, or happiness.  



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