New poll for the Legatum Institute reveals health and public safety are more important to voters than rising GDP.

Economic Growth Alone Will Not Make Britain a More Prosperous Country

Health and public safety are more important than economic growth when it comes to the prosperity of the country.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Legatum Institute, an international think tank based in London, shows that while economic growth is seen as a necessary driver of prosperity, other social factors are as important, if not more important, than GDP.

The results of the poll of 1938 people reveal:

  • Nearly half (45%) of people think health is more important to UK prosperity than economic growth, with the figure rising to 63% of Labour voters.
  • 45% of voters also think that safety of the public is more important than economic growth when measuring the UK’s prosperity.
  • 51% of people think the ability to start a new business is equally as important as economic growth, with the figure rising to 57% of Conservative voters.
  • 4 in 10 voters say that the quality of the education system is more important to the prosperity of the nation than economic growth, while 43% of respondents think it is just as important. Only 7% of people think education is less important than rising GDP.

The Legatum Institute’s 2014 Prosperity Index revealed that the UK is the 13th most prosperous country in the world (out of 142). The UK is the third most prosperous country in the G7 and the fourth most prosperous in the G20. While the UK was ranked 28th in terms of strength of the economy, other factors such the strength of the education system, personal safety and the fact that Britain is one of the best places to start up a business, pushed the UK up the rankings.

Nathan Gamester from the Legatum Institute said:

“Economic growth must go hand in hand with other factors that bind our communities together if Britain is to become a more prosperous country. The British people want a strong economy but they also want a positive vision of how we are going to improve our schools and hospitals. Politicians need to show how rising GDP will lead to people across the country having healthier and happier lives.”


Notes to Editors

  • YouGov interviewed 1938 people between 8-9 April 2015.

Media Enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview with Nathan Gamester, please contact:

Nick Faith by email or on, +44 (0) 7960 996 233

About the Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute is an international think tank and educational charity focused on promoting prosperity. We do this by researching our core themes of revitalising capitalism and democracy. The Legatum Prosperity Index™, our signature publication, ranks 142 countries in terms of wealth and wellbeing.