THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Prosperity in an independent Scotland: Analysis from the Legatum Prosperity Index™

Much has been made of Scotland’s likeness to successful small, homogenous nations like New Zealand in the independence debate. Proponents of the potential of North Sea oil reserves even liken the future success of an independent Scotland to the proven success of Norway.

With New Zealand ranking 1st in the 2016 Prosperity Index, and Norway 2nd, could an independent Scotland really reach the very top of global prosperity?

The challenge is that the debate so far has been heavily focused on the economic side of independence. Yet prosperity is about far more than just wealth. New Zealand is not rich, rather its prosperity is the product of free markets, good governance, and strong society, supported by vital indicators like high levels of wellbeing and good life expectancy. Norway is not prosperous because it is rich, it is prosperous because it has used that wealth to deliver good lives for its citizens.

Using data from the global Legatum Prosperity Index™ and data from the first ever UK Prosperity Index, mapping prosperity across 389 local authority areas, we assess the opportunities and challenges for an independent Scotland beyond the simple economics. We find that the path to prosperity for Scotland is more likely successfully travelled as a part of the United Kingdom.

If Scotland were to become independent how will it impact the prosperity of future generations? The Legatum Prosperity Index™ team analyses the issue using data from the global Legatum Prosperity Index™ and data from the first ever UK Prosperity Index, mapping prosperity across 389 local authority areas.