Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future. This is true for individuals as well as nations.
We believe that every individual has immense personal value and potential and, for us, prosperity requires that people have the opportunity to fulfil that potential and to help others realise theirs. That means prosperity can never just be about material wealth; at its core it also entails personal and social wellbeing, such as having a home, an education and family and friends who care for us. The journey towards prosperity is therefore not just about what we contribute, but about who we become.
The goal of the Legatum Prosperity Index™ is simple: by illustrating how countries have moved toward or away from prosperity, we want to help identify those pathways that lead from poverty to prosperity.
To achieve that goal, the Prosperity Index describes the conditions required for prosperity. We describe these conditions as the combination of nine pillars: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health, and the Natural Environment. Using data for 149 countries over eleven years, we track the journeys made by countries towards or away from prosperity.
Reflecting the deeper foundations of success, the 2018 report focuses on the institutional elements of prosperity. We look at the role of Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital and Safety and Security in underpinning both wealth and wellbeing. The strengthening of these pillars enables the development of the other aspects of prosperity. When they are undermined, we see a corresponding decline across other pillars.