The two groups of countries highlighted on the following pages have either exhibited a ‘glimmer of hope’ in improving their prosperity, or shown a ‘cause for concern’. By ‘glimmer of hope’, we refer to those countries who are showing encouraging signs of progress over recent years. By ‘cause for concern’, we refer to countries that are exhibiting worrying signs of deterioration. Both groups are countries that require observation in the coming years, either to continue tracking successful outcomes, or to see if, and how, countries and governments address recent failures.
For those showing a glimmer of hope, some were in the bottom 25 places in the rankings as recently as 2014, but their improvements have been sustained enough to move them closer to the middle of the rankings. Others, sitting near the middle portion of the index, have seen an acceleration of growth in prosperity over the last couple of years. We chose not to highlight nations that have seen significant gains in prosperity over the last couple of years, yet remain in the bottom 25 places in the rankings this year, such as Togo, which has seen a notable improvement rising 7 ranks since 2014, yet still ranks 144th this year. Whilst these nations have made progress, significant challenges still remain across multiple aspects of prosperity.