Creating the Pathways from Poverty to Prosperity

Ten years of changing prosperity

From the 2016 Prosperity Index:

We have already seen that global prosperity is on the rise, however, that rise has not been evenly felt across the world. The map shows how much prosperity has been gained or lost over the past decade in every country covered by the Index.

The results are surprising. Just 28 countries have seen prosperity decline, from the world's biggest decline in Venezuela, to small falls in developed countries like Australia and Greece. A further 16 have seen negligible positive change, including developing countries like Tanzania and Mali, but half are also members of the OECD. This includes economic giants like the United States, where prosperity has stagnated over the past decade. Europe too has not been immune. The Netherlands, Ireland, and Denmark have failed to secure prosperity growth over the past ten years.

However, 70 percent of the world's nations have seen a notable increase in their level of prosperity. Be it Togo in Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambodia in Asia, Ecuador in Latin America, the UAE in MENA, or Lithuania and Germany in Europe, prosperity growth has been seen, and seen in abundance somewhere in every continent in the world.

The challenge for global prosperity is how to keep lifting people from poverty to prosperity over the next decade. We have already seen the challenge that so-called Islamic State and others are presenting for prosperity in the Middle East. Yemen, Libya, and Tunisia have all seen their prosperity retreat. Latin America is the only region in the world that has failed to deliver sustained prosperity growth. It is instead highly cyclical, locking the continent's prosperity into a loop of economic boom and bust. The developed world is not exempt either. Populism is threatening prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prosperity may be at its highest point since 2007, rising sharply following the global financial crisis. However, trends over the past decade strike a note of caution. Rising prosperity has to be fought for, it cannot be taken for granted.