The Legatum Institute recently released their 2012 “prosperity index”, its annual ranking of the well-being of the world’s nations. One might argue that mere economic prosperity is a very simplistic benchmark by which to rank nations, which is why it’s notable that this index is a much broader gauge than mere economic factors.

The Institute states that it’s rankings are derived from eight, separate categories of sub-rankings:

1) Economy

2) Education

3) Social capital

4) Safety and security

5) Opportunity

6) Personal freedom

7) Health

8) Governance

This makes this assessment both more interesting and more useful/meaningful. The term “prosperity index” clearly understates the scope of this ranking, and referring to it as a “quality of life index” might be more accurate (if slightly more cumbersome). Perhaps more importantly, as the Legatum Institute points out itself; these rankings provide an excellent insight into which nations are most likely to prosper tomorrow.

Categories like education, social capital, opportunity, and governance are especially forward-looking, in that nations which currently excel in these categories today are almost certain to outperform their peers going forward. Because of this, perhaps the most important aspect to these rankings is to look for nations which are either rising or falling in the rankings...


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Prosperity Index Shows Capitalism Kills