Bringing Prosperity to Life


Ranked 55th of 149

At a glance


55 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™



In the Prosperity Sub-Index rankings, Jamaica performs best on Business Environment and Social Capital and scores lowest on the Safety & Security sub-index.

Visit our Rankings table to see how Jamaica 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.

Jamaica, despite declining in some areas of prosperity, has maintained and almost doubled its prosperity surplus since 2007. This is partly the result of the country enjoying higher prosperity despite shrinking wealth.

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.


Jamaica has climbed into the global top 30 in the Business Environment sub-index, rising 28 ranks since 2007 to rank 27th. This is the result of improving labour market flexibility, infrastructure improvements, and better access to credit for businesses. However, this has not led to an improvement in Economic Quality, as unemployment continues to rise as does poverty.

The only two other sub-indices to improve are Health and Social Capital, with Health only improving mildly over the last decade by just one rank to 63rd, thanks to a marked increase in immunisation rates that offsets an increase in diabetes and obesity prevalence. In Social Capital, Jamaica has seen a 12 rank increase to 34th thanks to the population as whole doing more to actively help strangers and friends, as well as increases in charity donations and volunteering.

Jamaica’s Prosperity Index and Business Environment scores.
Jamaica’s prosperity has barely improved over the past decade, and improvement was mainly due to a fast improving Business Environment.

The rest of the sub-indices reveal decline. Jamaica’s Governance, Education, Personal Freedom, Safety & Security, and Natural Environment all have a worse ranking today than in 2007. Only the Natural Environment, falls more than ten places, falling from 46th to 59th. That overall these multiple minor falls in ranking are offset by gains made elsewhere should not detract from the danger of falling prosperity in areas such as Safety & Security, that now worryingly sits at 117th. Crime is on the increase, road deaths have substantially increased, and more Jamaicans have struggled to find adequate food or shelter.

Ways to make a change

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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.