The 10th Legatum Prosperity Index, covering 149 countries, was published on November 3 by the London-based international think tank Legatum Institute.
Going beyond narrow measures of wealth such as GDP to determine successful nations, the Legatum Prosperity Index is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on both wealth and wellbeing. The index ranks nations based on nine areas of potential success or failure: economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and the natural environment.
The key finding of this year’s Prosperity Index is that global prosperity is at its highest point in the past decade, increasing by three percent since 2007. The 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index ranked New Zealand the most prosperous country out of 149 countries. Mongolia has risen to 76th place over the past decade.
Mongolia was noted as a country at “the threshold of prosperity”, on account of strengthening its society and its improved performance on education, as well as its vast mineral resources. However, the report also states, “besides facing challenges in converting burgeoning wealth into prosperity, Mongolia’s health and environment sectors obstruct the nation from achieving greater prosperity.”
Mongolia made very little improvement in the health sub-index over the last decade, where it ranks 93rd, six places lower than its ranking in 2007. Nevertheless, Mongolia has made significant improvements in the education sub-index, now ranking in the top 50 after rising six places to 48th. There was a slight decline in education inequality but an improvement in the girls to boys enrollment ratio. The Prosperity Index recommended that Mongolia focus on education quality, as the coverage has become high so that education could have a greater impact on Mongolia’s future prosperity growth.
In the economic quality sub-index, Mongolia rose from 90th in 2007 to 64th, but the social capital sub-index contributed the most to Mongolia securing prosperity growth in the future. Mongolian society has been growing stronger, with the country rising from 84th to 30th since 2007. This has been attributed to rising social trust and greater altruistic activity by Mongolians towards one another.
The five most prosperous countries on the index, ranked first to fifth, were New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Canada. The five least prosperous countries on the index, ranked 149th to 145th, were Yemen, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.