THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Global prosperity is at its highest point in the past decade

After a lacklustre performance during the 2008 and 2009 global financial crisis, global prosperity has risen to unprecedented levels.

Whether we look at the global average or weight countries' scores by their populations, the picture remains the same: global prosperity is now three percent higher than it was in 2007.

Driving this trend towards higher global prosperity are improvements in Personal Freedom, particularly in Western Europe and Central and Latin America; improvements in Health and Education in Asia; and a better Business Environment in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Global prosperity is at its highest point in the past decade
Global prosperity is at its highest point in the past decade

However, the picture is not universally positive. The rise of Islamic State and other groups like AQAP in the Middle East since the Arab Spring has exerted a drastic limit on prosperity growth in the region.

The Western world is not immune to challenges either. American prosperity has stagnated over the past decade. Even countries that were less badly affected by the financial crisis, like Australia, have seen prosperity decline over the past decade. Indeed, it is the only country in the top 20 to have seen prosperity fall.

This demonstrates that despite the upward trend, countries cannot take rising prosperity for granted. To keep global prosperity rising requires resolving ongoing conflicts, mitigating against economic disruption, and tackling the stagnation of key social outcomes in major developed economies.