THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX™ 2016

Bringing Prosperity to Life

Namibia

Ranked 68th of 149

At a glance

Ranks

68 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™

112th
65th
32nd
111th
108th
122nd
33rd
50th
74th

SUB-INDEX RANKINGS

In the Prosperity Sub-Index rankings, Namibia performs best on Governance and Personal Freedom and scores lowest on the Safety & Security sub-index.

Visit our Rankings table to see how Namibia 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.

Given its wealth, Namibia delivers prosperity as expected, and has been doing so since 2007. However, over the last decade some notable changes have occurred: deficits in the Safety& Security and Economic Quality sub-indices have widened, while the Natural Environment sub-index has moved from deficit into surplus.

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

In 2016, Namibia keeps its place among the top four in Sub-Saharan Africa, owing its performance primarily to good results in the Governance and Personal Freedom sub-indices, where the country has the 3rd highest score of the region, ranking 32nd and 33rd respectively.

Political stability is indeed a characteristic of the once German South West Africa. More than 40% of parliament seats are now occupied by women – a percentage that has nearly doubled since 2007, becoming higher than that of many Western European countries. Additionally, people’s confidence in the honesty of elections and in their government has remained high over the decade, as well as levels of judicial independence and rule of law.

The Index has also recorded a sound performance in the Personal Freedom sub-index: Namibia appears as one the most media-friendly countries on the continent, and it also distinguishes itself for having almost no governmental or social barriers to freedom of religion. These factors can explain the high level of satisfaction with personal liberty that Namibians have expressed since 2007, and which has now gone up to 85%, among the highest levels in the region.

Namibia appears as one the most media-friendly countries on the continent, and it also distinguishes itself for having almost no governmental or social barriers to freedom of religion.
Namibia appears as one the most media-friendly countries on the continent, and it also distinguishes itself for having almost no governmental or social barriers to freedom of religion.

On the other hand, the Safety & Security sub-index is where Namibia has weakened the most its performance over the last decade, posting a 17 rank decline but also doubling its prosperity deficit. More specifically, while in 2007 the 17% and 43% reported to have no easy access to adequate food and shelter, respectively, these values have increased up to 48% and 63%. As the recent economic growth was not accompanied by a similar increase in job creation, the resulting high level of both inequality and unemployment now represent huge barriers to Namibia’s potential delivery of prosperity. Another challenge comes from decreasing scores in satisfaction with the living standards (from 61% to 43% of the population), and with current incomes (from 29% to 15%). Like its peers in the region, Namibia has an economy closely tied to that of South Africa, and relies primarily on mining and agriculture, as well as on a growing tourism. Yet, all these income-generating activities are inherently vulnerable to environmental shocks, which Namibia is subjected to due to its fragile ecosystem. It is thus a priority to create more jobs and diversify the economy.

A more positive picture is presented by the notable improvement in the Natural Environment sub-index, in which Namibia has posted a 36 rank improvement since 2007, going from a significant prosperity deficit to a minor surplus. This is the result of increasing policies addressing the environment, so that, for example, the percentage of protected terrestrial areas has risen from 14% 43% since 2007.


Ways to make a change

Click on the Tweets to help make a change in your nation.

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.