THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Why is the UK world-class at generating prosperity but not so great at sharing it?

Britain is flourishing, helped by a world-class performance in transforming wealth into prosperity. However, prosperity created is not prosperity shared. The opportunity for flourishing is not open to all. Despite strong prosperity generation, the absence of life chances in urban areas limits its reach.

The UK is a world leader on the top-level delivery of prosperity. When countries are compared on how much prosperity they deliver for every pound their economy generates, the UK ranks third in the world. This means that, despite being 12 percent poorer than Germany and 32 percent poorer than the US, the UK is more prosperous than both.


Britain also delivers more prosperity per pound than before the global financial crisis. Rising prosperity over the past decade, despite stagnant GDP per capita, makes the UK one of the best prosperity performers of any major developed economy.

However, Britain is not good at making sure that prosperity reaches all. Our UK Prosperity Index, published in October 2016, highlights a significant failure of the UK's urban areas-rich and poor-to deliver prosperity. Their rural counterparts, however, are flourishing.

Lower wealth, rising prosperity
Lower wealth, rising prosperity

Poor education, poor health, weak social support, the lack of opportunity, and low wellbeing are all holding back urban areas.

This failure is driven by an absence of life chances in many UK cities. Poor education, poor health, weak social support, the lack of opportunity, and low wellbeing are all holding back urban areas. For the citizens of these areas, prosperity and the opportunities it brings, and its opportunity have not yet come knocking.

Despite ranking tenth in the Prosperity Index and third for top-level delivery, UK prosperity is limited by the fact that it does not reach the whole population. If life chances can be unlocked for all, then the potential for UK prosperity is significant indeed.