We are delighted to announce that the Legatum Institute has launched the 14th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index. This launch comes at an extraordinary moment in time. Across the world, COVID-19 is dominating our political, economic and social debate. For a time such as this, the Prosperity Index functions as a transformational tool that provides leaders of nations with a holistic and comprehensive framework that can inform the strategic choices that need to be made, that will further build inclusive societies and more open economies, and improve the lived experience of all citizens, to drive greater levels of prosperity around the world.
The Legatum Institute’s 2020 Prosperity Index measures prosperity in 167 countries across the globe, which together contain 99.4% of the world’s population. Almost 300 country-level indicators, grouped into 66 policy-focused elements, are used to comprehensively and holistically measure the current state of prosperity, and how it has changed since 2010 around the world.
As well as tracking the performance of nations to date, the Prosperity Index also provides an invaluable framework for nations to assess their strengths and weaknesses as they chart their way through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key findings from this year's report are:
- In the decade prior to COVID-19, global prosperity had risen continuously, driven by people’s lived experience improving and by more open economies.
- People’s lived experience improved due to better education and living conditions across all regions. Health also improved in all regions except for North America.
- Economies had become more open due to improvements to communication and transport infrastructure, strengthened property rights, greater protections for investors, and increased access to finance.
- The improvement in social capital also contributed to the increase in global prosperity, but further progress has been held back by governance and personal freedom stagnating.
- A lack of contestability within domestic markets and extensive restrictions on international investment is acting as a brake on economies becoming more open across parts of the world.
- The improvement in global prosperity in the last 12 months has not kept pace with the progress of the previous two years, as Asia-Pacific and Western Europe stalled, and North America deteriorated slightly.