The 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index™ provides the world’s only global assessment of prosperity based on both income and wellbeing. Our purpose is to promote a holistic understanding of national prosperity by providing a framework for its measurement that will be useful to policymakers, scholars, and the globally curious.
Traditional measures of national prosperity are based entirely on indicators of a country’s income, represented either by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or by average income per person (GDP/capita). Yet most human beings understand intuitively that ‘prosperity’ is not just about money, it is also about satisfaction with our lives and our future prospects. Thus, recent efforts to ‘move beyond GDP’ have focused on wellbeing, happiness, social mobility, and other indicators to the exclusion of wealth.
What makes the Prosperity Index unique is its focus on both dimensions. Indeed, it is the first global index to provide an empirical basis for the intuitive sense that true prosperity is a complex blend of income and wellbeing. Our Index is also the first to examine the correlates of both income and wellbeing across different dimensions of society, and to explore how these factors may influence a country’s income and the happiness of its citizens. We have found that the most successful countries are those that enjoy a ‘virtuous cycle’ of certain fundamental, and mutually reinforcing elements.
This brochure includes a brief overview of how the Index was created; the country rankings; five regional analyses; six features focusing on key aspects of the data; and four Index Insights about some of the most pressing public policy issues facing the world today. Further information on the Index, including a more detailed explanation of the methodology and data sources, comprehensive country profiles, and tools that allow you to explore the data can be found at:
We hope that you find this year’s Index both engaging and thought-provoking. The Index is central to the Legatum Institute’s ongoing inquiry into economic and political freedom across the globe, and we seek to improve the Index – and our analysis of it – each year. We therefore welcome any comments or feedback that you might have (please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org). Please visit us at www.li.com for more information about our research, products, events, and initiatives.