The Index is designed to be a transformational tool that allows citizens, local authorities, regions, and government to sharpen their understanding of what is working, track their progress over time, and hold leaders to account.
- The UK is one of the most prosperous nations in the world, ranked 13th in the Legatum Prosperity Index. Its prosperity increased during the first half of the 2010s but since then has been stagnating. This underlines the need for a much closer assessment of prosperity in the UK if the country is to make the most out of its reset moment.
- Despite fears of economic stagnation, the UK Prosperity Index shows that the country continues to build an open and strong economy that benefits from one of the strongest education systems in the world, an increasingly strong natural environment, and improving infrastructure. The Index confirms that many of the UK’s ‘economic fundamentals’ are strong or improving.
- However, we also find that overall prosperity is currently being undermined by a deterioration in things that lie outside of the traditional focus on GDP, infrastructure, and transport, including: the safety and security of communities; people’s physical and mental health; conditions for local enterprise such as labour market flexibility; key aspects of social capital; and, to a lesser extent, the effectiveness of local governance. Much of this is missed in a levelling-up debate that focuses narrowly on ‘bridges and trains’.
- Drilling down into the regional and local drivers of prosperity also reveals why the conversation about levelling-up the UK is too simplistic. Crude distinctions between ‘north and south’ or ‘cities and small towns’ gloss over the considerable variation that exists both between and within regions and fails to highlight the success stories where we see considerable increases in prosperity.
To learn more, please visit https://li.com/reports/uk-prosperity-index-2021/