Thursday, November 3, 2011

U.S. Ranks 10th In Global Prosperity Index

President Barack Obama may need more Champagne, because things are not so rosy for majority of Americans. Photo Credit: Redif.

2 Nov 2011 21:31 Africa/Lagos

U.S. Ranks 10th In Global Prosperity Index - Falls Behind China In Economic Rankings

U.S. scores high on measures of public health and entrepreneurial environment but falls behind China in economic rankings

LONDON, November 2, 2011/PRNewswire/ --

A new study ranks the U.S. 10th out of 110 countries in a worldwide assessment of wealth and quality of life. Norway, Denmark, and Australia lead the rankings. China improved on economic indicators - moving ahead of the U.S. for the first time - and places 52nd overall.

The Legatum Prosperity Index(TM) ( provides the world's only global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and well-being. The Index assesses 110 countries (accounting for over 93% of the world's population and 97% of the world's GDP) and ranks them based on their performance in eight sub-indices, including Economy, Governance, Personal Freedom, and Social Capital.

"The Prosperity Index allows us to see the way nations perform on globally significant factors," said Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's flagship international affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS, at the event launching the Index in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. "Our dominance is being eroded by the rise of the rest. The U.S. will have to hustle, or fall further in such rankings."

The U.S. ranks high in categories such as Health (1st overall) and Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (5th), but has fallen behind China for the first time on the Economy sub-index (U.S. 18th; China 10th). The Economy sub-index measures the performance of countries in four areas that are essential to promoting prosperity: macroeconomic policies, economic satisfaction and expectations, foundations for growth, and financial sector efficiency.

"We want to assess the long term drivers of prosperity," said Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute. "The Prosperity Index is designed to be a practical tool for researchers, policy makers, media, and the interested public. We hope this year's findings will contribute to the conversation about what makes societies healthy and successful."

The U.S. has dropped on the Entrepreneurship sub-index due to slightly higher start-up costs for businesses, uneven economic development, a decrease in research & development expenditures. In the Governance sub-index, the U.S. lost ground due to a drop in citizens' confidence in federal government, the honesty of elections, and in the judicial system.

"Some countries are catching up fast, but the Prosperity Index gives us reason not to despair," said Zakaria. "Look at where countries like India and China still are. But the U.S. will have to break out of its deadlocked political system and make choices that involve short term pain. Our crisis is political, not economic."

TOP 10
New Zealand
United States

Central African Republic

Source: Legatum Institute

Julian Knapp, Communications Director, Legatum Institute: +44-7557-97-1210 or at

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