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Sian Hansen, Executive Director at the Legatum Institute welcomed guests to the Academy. Her introduction was followed by a summary of key findings from the 2014 Index, presented by Nathan Gamester, Programme Director to the Legatum Prosperity Index™.

Key findings included:

  • Norway ranked 1st for overall prosperity for the sixth year in a row 
  • New Zealand is the highest climber at 3rd on the Prosperity Index
  • The UK has emerged as a world-leader for entrepreneurship
  • China continues to climb up the Economy sub-index, and now ranks 6th in the world on this measure.
  • The United States is no longer perceived to be the ‘land of the free’, ranking 21st on the Personal Freedom sub-index
  • Russia is the worst performing country in Europe this year
  • Venezuela has declined the most of any country this year, falling 22 places to 100th on the Index
  • Sierra Leone is the worst performing country on the Health sub-index and sub-Saharan African countries make up nine of the bottom 10 countries on this sub-index

The presentation of findings was followed by a panel discussion moderated by James Barty, Senior Adviser, Legatum Institute, which discussed the ‘British enterprise spirit’, based on the UK's high performance in the Economy and Opportunity sub-index in 2014.

Panellists included Ed Conway of Sky News, entrepreneur Luke Johnson, Edward Lucas of The Economist and Baroness Wheatcroft.



They explored why Britain was still an entrepreneurial nation, and what it needed to do to become more so. The discussion was livestreamed, and watched by viewers across almost 30 countries. The panel was followed by a drinks reception attended by 200 people including Iain Duncan Smith, Minister of Work and Pensions, Frank Field MP and Laura Sandys MP.

The following day members of the Prosperity Index team held a parliamentary breakfast on the Institute’s research. The breakfast was hosted by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and provided an opportunity for us to discuss how the Index can be used by policy-makers.

The parliamentary briefing was followed by lunch event co-organised with the Diplomatic Press Attachés Association of London. The aim of the event was to brief embassy representatives on the findings of the 2014 Prosperity Index. It included representatives from the five broad regions of the world and generated a constructive debate on the countries represented in the room.

On Tuesday, 18 November 2014, the Legatum Institute and the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC will host a livestreamed panel discussion, titled Defining Opportunity and Prosperity Beyond Economic Growth - details here.

2014 Prosperity Index Media Coverage

UK Online Coverage

  • A good society that just goes on giving, The Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Our prosperity is rising, but our start-up entrepreneurs need much more fertiliser, The Spectator, 8 November 2014 (View)
  • Welcome to Britzerland, The Sun, 4 November 2014 (View)
  • European countries dominate in global prosperity rankings, The Guardian, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • The aid industry endorses human rights abuses, fuels corruption and missed the Ebola crisis, The Independent, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Women's Fear Goes Viral, Huffington Post, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Germany ready to accept British exit from Europe, Daily Mail, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Harriet Maltby: Sunshine is winning the day. Here’s evidence that Britain’s getting better – not worse, ConservativeHome, 4 November 2014 (View)
  • Britain ranked 13th most prosperous country in the world ahead of Germany and France - and Norway comes top, This is Money, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Britain ahead of Germany in rich league, The Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • UK beats EU rivals for quality of life, The Times, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Britain ranked most prosperous major EU country, FT Online, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Steve Baker MP: The Legatum Prosperity Index, E-Politix, 4 November 2014 (View)
  • UK is ‘best country for entrepreneurs’, E-Politix, 3 November 2014 (View)

International Online Coverage

  • See who’s winning (and who’s not) country by country, Washington Post, 5 November 2014 (View)
  • Prosperity Index 2014, Time, 3/11/14 (View)
  • Italian worst of Costa Rica, well-being like in football, Repubblica (Italy), 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Corrupt, and intolerant in crisis: "Italy out of the G20 welfare", Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy), 3November 2014 (View)
  • South Africa sinks in yet another global index, BizNews (South Africa), 5 November 2014 (View)
  • Serbia ranks 77th on Legatum Prosperity Index, (Serbia), 5 November 2014 (View)
  • Venezuela shows the biggest global drop in the 2014 Prosperity Index, Caracas Chronicles, 3 November 2014 (View)
  • Ranking prosperity in the world . Polish up. Russia dropped the most from all the countries of Europe, TOKFM (Poland), 3 November 2014 (View)

About the Prosperity Index

Now in its eighth year, the Index assesses 142 countries, representing more than 96% of the world’s population and 99% of the world’s GDP.

Using rigorous research and in-depth analysis, the Index ranks countries based on their performance in eight sub‐indices—Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Education, Personal Freedom, Health, Safety & Security and Social Capital.

For more information about the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index™, please visit