Friday, December 4, 2015

10 Countries more prosperous then the U.S,

Published: Nov 4, 2015 2:30 p.m. ET

Overall, the U.S. dropped out of the top 10 to place 11th on the sweeping prosperity index

Don’t expect to hear Americans crowing about how they fared in the 2015 Legatum Institute Prosperity Index soon. “We’re number 11!” just doesn’t have much of a Stars-and-Stripes ring to it.
On a positive note, the U.S. reigns supreme in terms of health. When it comes to safety and security, however, there are dozens of better choices, including Slovakia, apparently.
Overall, the U.S. dropped out of the top 10 to place 11th on the sweeping index, which came out earlier this week. Along with the aforementioned health and safety categories, the London-based think tank used 89 variables to score each country on six other ”sub-indexes,” including education, economy, entrepreneurship & opportunity, governance, personal freedom and social capital.
That last one takes into account such vague metrics as “the reliability of others” along with marriage and religion. A lower score in “social capital” contributed to the decline in the U.S. rankings, according to the researchers. The U.S. fell from seven to 11 by that measure.
But the safety factor is the primary headwind, and has been for a while. In fact, the U.S. is the only country in the top 20 that ranks outside the top 30 in safety.
“In light of events in the past year, such as the Baltimore protests or the Ferguson unrest, it is perhaps unsurprising that the indicator that measures group grievances has increased in the country,” the report explained, adding that property theft is also a major issue.
Aside from the dismal 33rd spot in the safety and security category, the U.S. also fared relatively poorly in an area one might assume it would do much better: Personal freedom, where it came in at number 15, just behind Costa Rica, but ahead of Portugal.
Here are the 10 countries that ranked higher than the U.S. on the list, starting with one that rode a much better safety score to break into the upper level:

10. Ireland The Emerald Isle jumped to two rungs, cracking the top 10 on the back of a ranking of 4th in terms of safety that helped offset a lowly 18th in economy.

9. Finland
Like Ireland, this country performed well enough in safety (3rd) to make up for 33rd in the economy subindex. Overall, Finland fell one notch.

8. Netherlands
Education is the driver here, where the country ranks 4th. The downside is the 19th spot in the safety & security category. The Netherlands improved by one spot overall from last year’s index.

7. Australia
Holding the same spot as the prior year, Australia topped all others in education, while it managed to score only 15th in terms of health.

6. Canada
Freedom reigns in Canada, where the country took home top marks. On the other end of the spectrum, it took 15th in entrepreneurship & opportunity.

5. Sweden
Climbing one spot, Sweden ruled the roost in the entrepreneurship & opportunity category, despite a relatively low 17th ranking in education.

4. New Zealand
Our Kiwi friends took top honors in social capital, but a 19th on the health side contributed to New Zealand’s one-spot slip in the rankings.

3. Denmark
A 2nd in entrepreneurship & opportunity made up for a 16th in health to boost Denmark by one position from a year ago.

2. Switzerland
The land of chocolates and bank accounts held its runner-up spot on the strength of its governance score, which took top honors. Its education score, however, came in at 18th.

1. Norway
Still No. 1, seven years and counting: Norway fared consistently well across all categories, with safety and security the worst at 8th. The best: social capital at No. 2.

The United States rank 11th globally in the 2015 Prosperity Index, having fallen by one place since last year.
The United States' best performance is in the Health sub-index, where it ranks 1st in 2015.
The United States' lowest rank is in the Safety & Security sub-index, where it ranks 33rd in 2015.


  1. Seems to me, in a multicultural society like ours, many members are very prosperous and many are wretched. In more homogeneous societies the playing field is more level. It is this inequality within our country that we should be addressing.

  2. Setting aside perceived beliefs in the role of government for a second, I think it makes sense to assume that societies that have less inequality are probably more stable and still able to provide a satisfactory level of reward for a majority of the participants. The problem in the American society, as I see it, is that many many individuals feel they are owed an enormous amount of reward for their participation. This runs from top to bottom I think. And it can't be fixed by legislation. We could punish excess and to some degree "force" or strongly encourage a downward migration of wealth. This would not change the thinking, however, of the mass of individuals who feel that they are underewarded no matter how much wealth and power they possess.

    I don't have an issue with inequality as I think we need some to encourage hard work. It's the degree of inequality we currently face that bothers me and that I think puts us at risk for whack job extremism. If we are to spend collective money, I think it should be spent in creating access to things that help people climb upward, such as education in fields where there is need. We need STEMI education and we should support access there. I believe we need the arts as well, but I get frustrated the same as everyone else to see some smart ass spray a pile of literal excrement with gold spray paint and call it art while going to school for free on a scholarship.

    Still, I think a lot of it boils down to desire. We don't desire, at present, to have a more equal distribution of wealth or power in our society. The results speak for themselves.