Creating the Pathways from Poverty to Prosperity

Focus on the Regions

North America remains the most prosperous region, although the gap with Western Europe has narrowed and the two regions now exhibit similar levels of prosperity. The prosperity of these top two regions sits apart from that of the rest of the world.

The difference in prosperity between Western Europe and third-ranking Eastern Europe is greater than the gap between Eastern Europe and the bottom-ranking region, sub-Saharan Africa.

All regions have seen an improvement in their prosperity over the past decade, although North America has seen only minor improvement, with the Asia-Pacific region seeing the most improvement. The improvement seen in the Asia-Pacific region has been so substantial that it now shares similar levels of prosperity with Latin America and the Caribbean. Eastern Europe was the second most improved region, yet the average improvement seen across Eastern Europe is only half that seen across the Asia-Pacific region. Such is the impact of the Asia-Pacific region’s growth that the improvement seen in Eastern Europe is still only equal to the global average. Despite improvements in their prosperity, sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africe continue to fall further below the global average.

All regions of the world are experiencing more Open Economies than they did a decade previously, and all, apart from North America, have also seen a strengthening of the Empowered People domain, which has been the driving factor in the overall improvement in prosperity seen in most regions. In addition, the Inclusive Societies domain has also improved across the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean, although the deteriorations in other regions have meant that at a global level, there has been a stagnation in this domain.