The Legatum Institute exists to promote policies that create pathways from poverty to prosperity. We believe that every individual has immense personal value and potential and, for us, prosperity requires that people have the opportunity to fulfl 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 IndexTM 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.
Overall, progress has been positive. Despite a turbulent year in many countries, including divisive elections and terrorist attacks, this year’s Index shows that global prosperity has continued to rise. More countries have seen improvements than those that haven’t, while poorer regions of the world have also advanced. For example, Asia continues its strong improvements in prosperity; and many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are also progressing, gaining particularly in Business Environment, Governance and Social Capital.