Study: The Grand Duchy scored highly for its economy, but got poor marks in education, according to a British think tank’s comparison of wealth and wellbeing worldwide.
The London-based Legatum Institute has covered the Grand Duchy for the first time in its six year old Prosperity Index, with Luxembourg debuting in the top 30 countries.
The organisation says the study provides a “global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and wellbeing” that offers a more complete alternative to GDP comparisons. The 2012 Prosperity Index ranked 142 countries--which represent 96% of the world’s population and 99% of global GDP--in eight fields: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital.
The top 10 countries overall were Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland in this year’s edition, which was released on October 30.
The Grand Duchy came in 11th place, ahead of the US (12), UK (13), Germany (14), Belgium (17), Hong Kong (18), Singapore (19), France (21) and Japan (22).
Luxembourg topped the health category, ranking ahead of the US, Switzerland and Norway. The Grand Duchy also placed fourth in the economy rankings, between third-ranked Singapore and fifth-ranked Sweden, and was fifth globally in entrepreneurship and opportunity, ahead of sixth-placed UK and 10th-placed Netherlands.
Luxembourg scored seventh highest worldwide in safety and security, eighth in personal freedom, ninth in governance, and 16th in social capital.
Low educational results
In contrast, the Grand Duchy ranked 48th in education, between Malta at number 46 and Sri Lanka at number 47, and Romania at number 49 and China at number 50.
In Europe, “Greece experienced the largest decline in overall prosperity in 2012, falling 10 places since 2009 and now standing in 49th position,” the institute reported. The authors observed, akin to WEF findings earlier this year, that the old division between western and eastern Europe no longer applies. “In fact, Slovakia, and Estonia have each increased faster than Italy, Belgium and Ireland in overall prosperity as well as in crucial sub-indices,” while “Bosnia, Albania and Moldova are Europe’s poorest performers.”
Globally, the US fell out of the overall top 10 list, dragged down by declines in its entrepreneurship and opportunities score, down eight places since last year; its governance score, due to low government approval rates; and its economy score, which has slipped seven ranks since 2009 to 20th place.
Meanwhile, “a new generation of Asian ‘Tiger Cubs’ has also emerged, with Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia all performing well in the rankings,” the institute’s study said.
The bottom 10 countries in the index were Ethiopia, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Togo, Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Afghanistan, Congo and the Central African Republic.
The Legatum Institute is a non-partisan think-tank backed by the Dubai- and London-based Legatum investment group, which focuses in large part on private equity and venture capital in emerging markets. Among other activities, the institute co-publishes Democracy Lab with Washington Post-owned Foreign Policy magazine.