In his speech, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions paid tribute to the Prosperity Index and highlighted the UK's performance in the 2015 Economy sub-index which shows the country has outstripped its European rivals for the second year in a row.

The 2015 Index, which measures both objective and subjective data, also revealed that UK citizens feel optimistic towards future employment prospects. In 2009 just 9% of those surveyed reported feeling confident about the possibility of finding work, but today, that figure has risen to 50%. The Secretary of State acknowledged this figure was "still not good enough", but he said it showed people were beginning to feel the benefits of improvements in the UK economy.

“People change their lives through work. Without work, people must rely on the government to dictate their lives. We want to help people break free from that embrace and give them the power to change their own lives”

Iain Duncan Smith also discussed the government's new legislation around poverty, which measures people’s 'life chances'. The measures were put in place to analyse why some people are not in a position to earn enough money, due to factors such as educational attainment, family instability, and financial debt. These measures, which align with the Legatum Institute's philosophy that individual prosperity is about more than GDP, will prove key to understanding how families can be helped to rise out of poverty.

The Secretary of State reiterated his—and the government’s—view that there is more to life than money: "it's about wellbeing and people feeling they have the opportunity and ability to both run and enjoy their lives".

The audience of 150 guests included Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, Baroness Stroud and Martyn Lewis


  • 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index Launch [View Photos]
  • 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index - [View Report]
  • It’s no wonder Britain is optimistic about jobs, by Iain Duncan Smith, The Times (£) [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.



  • Launch of the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index™ (Details)

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