Bringing Prosperity to Life


Ranked 20th of 149

At a glance


20 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™



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

Visit our Rankings table to see how Slovenia 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.

Slovenia delivers greater prosperity than expected given its wealth and is a model for its region, especially in the areas of environmental conservation, tolerance, and social capital. It considerably outperforms the Czech Republic and Cyprus, countries with a similar GDP per capita.

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.


The country suffered from over-borrowing following its entry into the EU in 2004, with the government needing to implement fiscal austerity measures to bring spending back in check. It was also hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008 and GDP per capita declined by 8% in 2009, so it is unsurprising that Slovenia has seen a decline in its Economic Quality over the past decade. There is a higher rate of unemployment, though this peaked at 10.2% in 2013 and has dropped to 9.5% in recent years. Poverty is also on the rise. Nevertheless, while Slovenia has fallen six ranks, it remains in the global top 30 of this sub-index. It has a high female labour force participation rate and strong human capital thanks to its educational system.

A well-trained and educated labour force is becoming increasingly important for the delivery of prosperity in the more knowledge-based economies of the 21st century. The Education sub-index is one in which Slovenia has performed consistently well, ranking in the global top 25. It spends a higher percentage of its GDP on education than its regional peers and reformed its educational system over the 1990s and early 2000s to strengthen tertiary and vocational learning. Secondary vocational students make up 41.5% of Slovenia’s working age population, well above the EU and OECD averages. Slovenia maintains a good educational quality (PISA) score, just below the EU and OECD averages.

Secondary vocational students (% of the working age population) in Slovenia, the EU, and the OECD.
Slovenia has a considerably higher percentage of secondary vocational students than many of its OECD and EU peers.

Ranked at 60th, Slovenia’s worst performance comes in the Business Environment sub-index, though good progress has been made over the past decade. Slovenia benefits from a good geographical position in Central Europe and good infrastructure, making supply chain costs low. The Prosperity Index indicates that logistics performance has improved and that it is far easier to start a business than in 2007. However, Slovenia has been criticised for being slow in introducing reforms to boost competitiveness. While redundancy costs have been reduced, the labour market remains among the least flexible in the EU. Notably, financial services are the most difficult to afford among EU member states.

Slovenia’s best performance is found in the Natural Environment sub-index where it continues to rank 1st, as it has done for the past five years. Natura 2000 protected sites cover 37.16% of the country which is the highest rate in the EU. Natura 2000 is a EU conservation network aimed at protecting areas (both on land and sea) with rare wildlife and habitat types. The Prosperity Index records that after 2009, Slovenia saw a dramatic increase in the percentage of land and marine areas that were protected which saw the country move up 52 ranks to 1st. 98.4% of its marine area is protected, the highest of any country in the Prosperity Index – Ecuador sits far behind in 2nd place with 75.6%. Similarly, Slovenia has the highest overall percentage of its land protected at 54.5%, which is an impressive 41.4% increase since 2009. A healthy, protected environment not only protects citizens’ heath, but also encourages tourism, bringing more revenue into the country.

Slovenia’s Environment score since 2007 compared to the world average.
Slovenia’s efforts to preserve its natural environment make the country stand out among its global peers.

In Personal Freedom and Social Capital, Slovenia also performs particularly well: it ranks in the global top 20 for Personal Freedom and in the global top 25 for Social Capital, maintaining these positions over the past decade. It has a diverse free press and there is widespread tolerance for immigrants, people of ethnic minorities, and the LGBT community, outperforming its Eastern European peers in these areas. Neighbouring Hungary, by contrast, has seen tolerance for immigrants and minorities decline. Social Capital is strong with Slovenia scoring above the EU and OECD averages. It is the 2nd best performing country in the EU, behind Ireland, when it comes to citizens volunteering in organisations on a regular basis.

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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.