It has done this through a combination of strong society, free and open markets, and high levels of personal freedom. Alongside New Zealand (ranked overall first this year), other developed Commonwealth countries also deliver high levels of prosperity in this way: theUK (tenth), Australia (sixth), and Canada (fifth). Together, these “Anglosphere” nations perform better than any comparable developed bloc in bringing prosperity to their shores. The combination of free markets, opportunity, and strong society is their secret.
Social Capital drives New Zealand’s prosperity success
That New Zealand is a clear outlier in the Social Capital sub-index does not seem to be met with much surprise by many New Zealanders. They point to the country’s history as an agrarian society – remote rural communities tend to depend on one another to a greater extent – and the country’s Māori tradition. The strength of the country’s social capital stands out like no other, underpinned by the Māori idea of society built around the whānau (family), hapū (community), and iwi (tribe). The result is a nation with the strongest social capital in the world, where 99 percent of New Zealanders say they have family or friends to rely on in times of need.