Creating the Pathways from Poverty to Prosperity

The Commonwealth Effect

From the 2016 Prosperity Index:

Across the world, the Index captures a notable "Commonwealth Effect". The Commonwealth delivers greater prosperity, and greater prosperity given its wealth, than the global average.

This additional prosperity comes primarily from the Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, and Social Capital sub-indices. On the delivery of prosperity, together the Commonwealth outperforms the world average in all but one sub-index.

World and Commonwealth prosperity scores

This Commonwealth Effect transcends wealth. We see the developed Commonwealth "Anglosphere" bloc of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom deliver greater prosperity than any comparable bloc, including the Nordic area and Western Europe. In Africa, Commonwealth members together outperform the Sub-Saharan average in every sub-index.

Western Europe, Nordics and Anglosphere prosperity scores

What also transcends wealth is the root of this Commonwealth Effect. Whether in Africa or Australia, the pattern is the same. This additional prosperity comes from freer markets (reflected in a more competitive business environment and certain indicators of governance), freer peoples with greater opportunity, and most importantly, stronger civil society.

Africa and Commonwealth Africa prosperity scores