Legatum 10th annual prosperity study considers the wealth and wellbeing of 142 countries, based on eight categories such as economic strength, education and personal freedom.
“The US fell to 12th position from 10th amid increased doubts about the health of its economy and ability of politicians,” Bloomberg.com‘s analysis of the report reads. “The research group said the standing of the US economy has deteriorated to beneath that of 19 rivals. The report also showed that respect for the government has fallen, fewer Americans perceive working hard gets you ahead, while companies face higher startup costs and the export of high-technology products is dropping.”
Meanwhile, Canada’s sixth place ranking (the same as it was in 2011) was enough to lead the Americas. In fact, New Zealand, Australia and Canada all received the highest marks for education and were all said to enjoy the most freedom and social tolerance. (Canada number one!)
The index suggests Scandinavian countries are prospering the most. Norway, Denmark and Sweden were first, second and third in the overall rankings, respectively.
Things are also looking up elsewhere in Europe, with the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany also climbing the index. However, more than two thirds of the European countries (24 out of 33) have seen their economy score decline since 2009.
For more on the Legatum Prosperity Index, lets this explanatory video do the talking: