THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Morocco

Ranked 101st of 149

At a glance

Ranks

101 st on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™

66th
84th
118th
118th
87th
44th
118th
144th
66th

SUB-INDEX RANKINGS

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

Visit our Rankings table to see how Morocco 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.

Morocco has the smallest prosperity deficit in North Africa. While the size of its deficit is small in an absolute sense, and much smaller than that of neighbours like Algeria or Libya, Morocco has been unable to meaningfully reduce its deficit over the past decade.

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

Morocco is Africa’s fifth largest economy and, according to the UNCTAD 2016 World Investment Report, ranked fourth in Africa terms of the nominal amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) it received in 2015. The kingdom attracted inflows worth $3.2bn in 2015. The government continues its economic liberalisation programme, further reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers and strengthening investor protection. The biggest change within Morocco’s Economic Quality sub-index comes from the prevalence of non-tariff barriers component variable, which saw a decline of 24% between 2007 and 2016. On the whole, these economic reforms are translating into better living standards for most Moroccans. Some 75% of Moroccans say they are satisfied with their living standards, up from 57% in 2010, a year before the Arab Spring, and compared to the lower levels of 61% in Tunisia or 72% in Algeria. That Morocco is able to achieve relatively high Economic Quality levels compared to its neighbours has a lot to do with its next area of promise – Safety & Security.

Economic Quality, Safety & Security, and Social Capital in Morocco and North Africa
Moroccans enjoy higher Economic Quality and Safety & Security, but lower levels of Social Capital than their North African neighbours

Morocco’s semi-authoritarian monarchy got it through the Arab Spring with less upset than experiences by its neighbours. Since the king sits outside of the government, balanced elections can happen and internal changes in parliament can occur without the ruler compromising their position of power. This dynamic was apparent in Morocco - and Jordan. Moroccan King Mohammed VI quickly offered “comprehensive constitutional reform” – judicial independence, a more powerful parliament - in response to the protests, accepting the changes proposed by the commission in nominating a Prime Minister. In these scenarios the reforms are more credible because the monarch is far more willing to hear the public’s desires and make the changes while remaining ruler and diffusing social angst. In practice, no real constitutional reforms have materialised, but by diffusing angst, Morocco’s Political Terror Scale has dropped since 2011, as has the number of terrorism-related deaths and the number of refugees from Morocco. This stands in contrast to Tunisia, where both terrorism-related deaths and refugee numbers have increased since 2011.

While this has helped the country’s level of Safety & Security, it has been less helpful to the levels of Social Capital and Governance experienced by Moroccans. The areas singled out for reform during the Arab Spring – judicial independence and a more powerful parliament – have actually become more problematic. Judicial independence has deteriorated since 2011. Fewer people have confidence in the honesty of national elections. The transparency of policymaking has worsened as has the efficiency of the legal system in challenging regulations. In overall Governance, Morocco has dropped 10 ranks since 2011.

Similarly, Morocco’s Social Capital rank has dropped by four places since 2011, taking it to 144th place – among the bottom 10 countries in the world. Fewer Moroccans are donating money to charity and fewer Moroccans feel like they can rely on friends and family in times of trouble. In Morocco, the strain of pent up demand for political and social change translate into deteriorating social capital, just as the Arab Spring protests elsewhere in North Africa were associated with deteriorating social capital.


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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.