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UK prosperity increases

UK prosperity increases

Legatum Institute

2 min read Partner content

Across Western Europe the UK has seen the greatest rise in levels of prosperity over the last two years, according to the only measure of global wealth and wellbeing.

By identifying the foundations of prosperity, UK based think-tank The Legatum Institute's annual Prosperity Indexaims to redefine how we think about national success.

As well as taking into account traditional economic factors, such as GDP growth and market size, the index also looks at levels of trust in society, access to education, healthcare-related variables and safety and security.

In 13th place the UK sits outside of the global top ten, but according to the Index the country has increased its prosperity score by 13 per cent over the past two years.

In the entrepreneurship and opportunity sub-index, which measures how countries perform in three areas – entrepreneurial environment, innovative activity, and access to opportunity – the UK ranks 4th.

As a whole it ranks ahead of both Germany (15th) and France (18th), while the Scandinavian countries still remain at the top of the table, with Norway and Denmark taking first and second spot for the third year running.

Unsurprisingly, both Greece and Italy have seen their prosperity scores take a turn for the worse: Italy is amongst a small group of countries globally whose absolute Index score has dropped since 2010.

Europe's financial turmoil has also manifested itself through a clear drop in domestic savings rates across almost all European countries. The continent has also seen an almost uniform fall in perceived confidence in financial institutions.

Aside from the political turmoil the European Union is currently facing, the Index has some scathing evidence for the EU as a whole, with data suggesting that top-down integration has done little to equalise differences between European countries.

Not only do the income disparities between EU member states remain vast, but looking to countries in the Mediterranean area, it seems integration has done little to raise the institutional quality in these countries.

The countries report high levels of corruption, low rates of social trust, low levels of rule of law, and inefficient public sectors.

Findings from the Index suggest that ‘more top-down integration is unlikely to solve Europe's crisis'.

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