THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Ghana

Ranked 87th of 149

At a glance

Ranks

87 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™

109th
81st
43rd
109th
115th
85th
71st
89th
88th

SUB-INDEX RANKINGS

In the Prosperity Sub-Index rankings, Ghana performs best on Governance and Personal Freedom and scores lowest on the Health sub-index.

Visit our Rankings table to see how Ghana compares to other countries.

Prosperity Gap

The ‘Prosperity Gap’ takes a country's GDP and uses it as the yardstick to measure a nation's expected Prosperity Index ranking.

Ghana is a lower-middle income country that is over-delivering prosperity given its wealth. Although it managed to maintain a surplus, this surplus has almost halved over the past decade. However, Ghana still has a remarkable surplus in Governance, where it sits in the top 50 of the Index.

Note:
In the chart above, each dot represents a country. The curve shows the general tendency with which prosperity increases as GDP per capita increases. If a country falls below the curve, then we can say that compared to all other countries, it is under-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Likewise, if a country rises above the curve, then we can say that it is over-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Learn more about the Prosperity Gap here.

Alternatively, have a look at the Prosperity Gap view on our Rankings table for a full list of countries and to see how each of them are performing on the various sub-indices.

Commentary

The 2016 Prosperity Index shows Ghana as a country that, while retaining some characteristics of its Sub-Saharan African peers, has managed to accelerate its path towards a more prosperous environment.

Particularly significant is Ghana’s performance in the Governance sub-index, which, together with Personal Freedom, represents the country’s greatest strengths. Here Ghana can count on solid democratic institutions, where rule of law and judicial independence are in place and corruption is lower than the regional average.

When compared to its regional peers, Ghana stands out for its performances in Governance and Personal Freedom.
When compared to its regional peers, Ghana stands out for its performances in Governance and Personal Freedom.

Yet, people’s perceptions do not reflect fully this good performance: confidence in honesty of elections and in government effectiveness has decreased over the last ten years, from 71% to 45% and from 72% to 44%, respectively. This discontent is also reflected in the Economic Quality sub-index, where people have reported their low satisfaction with their living standards (only 34% answered positively), as well as their discomfort with their current income (only 4% are satisfied). Both these values are among the lowest in the region, a result that shows how people do not feel that they are benefiting from the GDP growth that has occurred in the country. On a more positive note, Ghana has managed to reduce relative poverty by 24% since 2007, and it keeps on implementing national plans aiming at a further reduction.

The Index also captures Ghana’s improvement in its Business Environment sub-index, where the country has posted a 30 rank increase over the past decade. Recent reforms have been implemented in order to facilitate access to credit and reduce redundancy costs, although the country remains constrained by lack of electricity, as well as by long and costly insolvency processes. On a positive note, 95% of the population thinks that working hard matters.

Among the weaknesses of Ghana, the poor performance in the Social Capital sub-index stands out: here the country has moved down 57 ranks since 2007, mostly because of decreasing scores related to volunteering and donations. This is something the government should focus on, as a strong and cohesive social capital is an important component in any country’s road to prosperity.

When it comes to Education and Health, usually among the weakest sectors of many Sub-Saharan African countries, Ghana reveals a mixed performance. As far as education is concerned, the country has some of the highest scores in primary completion and literacy rates. However, low levels of secondary and tertiary education continue to limit the overall performance in this sub-index. Similarly, in the health sector, immunisation rates are high, against both DPT and measles, but the Index has recorded decreasing levels in people’s satisfaction with the availability of quality healthcare (from 73% to 48% since 2007).


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Data

How to read this graph:
When comparing multiple countries on a spider chart, data points that appear
further away from the center represent a better performance to the points that are closer to the center.