Magazine article European Social Policy

Wellbeing : Nordic States among World's Most Prosperous Nations, Study Finds

Magazine article European Social Policy

Wellbeing : Nordic States among World's Most Prosperous Nations, Study Finds

Article excerpt

The world's top ten most prosperous countries include six European states, according to a new Prosperity Index' from the London-based independent think tank, the Legatum Institute. The Nordic countries are ranked highest, while the lowest-placed EU states of the 110 countries surveyed are Romania (51st), Latvia (47th), Bulgaria (46th), Lithuania (42nd) and Greece (39th). The index was compiled by collating data from diverse sources under eight categories: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital.

The other four places in the top ten are being filled by Australia (4th), New Zealand, (5th), Canada (7th) and the United States (10th). The only Nordic country not to come in the top ten is Iceland, which is dragged down to 12th because of its poor score on economy'. The largest EU countries do not perform especially well: the United Kingdom is the highest in 13th place, Germany is in 15th, France 19th and Italy 25th. France's rating suffers from low scores on the personal freedom' and social capital' indices, the latter being an indicator of a society's involvement in their community - for example doing volunteer work for charities. Of the EU countries in the most fiscal trouble currently - the so-called PIGS - Ireland is ranked the highest in 12th place, with Spain in 23rd, Portugal 26th and Greece 39th. The Baltic nations perform poorly, with Estonia in 35th, Lithuania in 42nd and Latvia in 47th. …

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