2019 Legatum Prosperity Index™

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ has been designed to be a transformational tool to help enable targeted policy responses that can drive tangible improvements in prosperity.

A report for the Legatum Prosperity Index™ programme by Dr Stephen Brien

Published 25 Nov 2019

The 13th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index™

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country-level indicators. The Index enables us to construct a thoroughly comprehensive picture of prosperity, across its institutional, economic, and social dimensions. It is our ambition that leaders around the world will use the Index to help set their agendas for growth and development, and that it will enable others to hold them to account.

The indicators used in the Index are organised into 12 pillars which are grouped into three domains essential to prosperity:

  • Inclusive Societies: Safety and Security, Personal Freedom, Governance, and Social Capital
  • Open Economies: Investment Environment, Enterprise Conditions, Market Access and Infrastructure, and Economic Quality
  • Empowered People: Living Conditions, Health, Education, and Natural Environment

Using the Prosperity Index framework, nations around the world can assess their strengths and weaknesses in order to determine the economic and strategic choices that need to be made to drive greater levels of prosperity.

Executive Summary

  • Global prosperity continues to improve, but the gap between the strongest and weakest performing countries continues to widen.
  • The improvement in global prosperity has been driven by more open economies and improvements to people’s lived experiences.
  • Economies are more open due to the improvement in the investment environment and digital connectivity, as well as a reduction in administrative burdens.
  • People’s lived experiences have improved due to better health, education, and living conditions.
  • Stagnating institutions are holding back further improvements to global prosperity.

The Index shows that, overall, the world is more prosperous than it has ever been, with Denmark overtaking Norway as the strongest performer. North America remains the most prosperous region, although the gap between it and Western Europe has narrowed.

Of the 167 countries measured and tracked for prosperity in this year’s Index, 148 (containing 88% of the world’s population) have seen an improvement in their prosperity since 2009.

Each of the seven world regions contributed to the rise in global prosperity. The Asia-Pacific region saw the greatest improvement and accounts for most of the global increase. Such is the improvement in prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region that it has closed the prosperity gap with Latin America and the Caribbean.

To read more about prosperity globally and explore the rankings for individual countries and regions, read the 2019 report or visit prosperity.com.


2019 Legatum Prosperity Index™:

The 13th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index™

By Dr Stephen Brien

Nov 2019

Download the reportPDF