Uruguay Leads Latin America in Global Prosperity Rankings Ahead of Chile, Costa Rica; Nicaragua and Honduras Worst in Region

By Legatum Institute, PRNE
Monday, November 7, 2011

LONDON, November 8, 2011 -

Uruguay and Chile lead the Latin American continent in a new study assessing wealth and quality of life in 110 countries worldwide. Norway, Denmark, and Australia lead the global rankings. Nicaragua and Honduras have dropped 13 and 8 places respectively since 2009.

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ (www.prosperity.com) provides the world’s only global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and well-being. The Index assesses 110 countries (accounting for over 93% of the world’s population and 97% of the world’s GDP) and ranks them based on their performance in eight sub-indices, including Economy, Governance, Personal Freedom, and Social Capital.

We want to assess the long term drivers of prosperity, said Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute. The Prosperity Index is designed to be a practical tool for researchers, policy makers, media, and the interested public. We hope this years findings will contribute to the conversation about what makes societies healthy and successful.

In 29th place overall, Uruguay leads the Latin American rankings ahead of Chile (31st) and Costa Rica (34th). Uruguay places in the top 10 for the Personal Freedom sub-index, and all Latin American countries have seen increases in their Personal Freedom sub-index performance, except Bolivia. Brazil has improved its overall Prosperity Index ranking from 45th to 42nd. This is mainly due to an increase in its Governance sub-index ranking from 60th to 52nd.

In 6th place overall, Canada is the highest ranked country from the American continent, ahead of the U.S. (10th) and Uruguay (29th). Mexico is 53rd.

Top 5 (Latin America)
29. Uruguay
31. Chile
34. Costa Rica
37. Panama
39. Argentina
Bottom 5 (Latin America)
83. Ecuador
84. Guatemala
85. Bolivia
86. Nicaragua
87. Honduras

For the first time this year, a non-Western country leads the Economy sub-index, with Singapore claiming 1st place ahead of Norway and Switzerland. The U.S. has fallen behind China for the first time on this measure (U.S. 18th; China 10th). The Economy sub-index measures the performance of countries in four areas that are essential to promoting prosperity: macroeconomic policies, economic satisfaction and expectations, foundations for growth, and financial sector efficiency.

Read the full press release here.

CONTACT: Julian Knapp, Communications Director, Legatum Institute: +44-7557-97-1210 or at julian.knapp at li.com

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