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Who are the Most Prosperous Countries in the World?

A view of Copenhagen with boats and colorful housesWhat’s the difference between being rich and being prosperous? Did you know that it’s not the same?

The countries that prosper share wealth among its citizens. The Legatum Institute releases annual Prosperity Index. Legatum Institute is a London-based organization that measures prosperity using these measures: economic growth, business environment and opportunities, effective political governance with participation, personal freedom, national security and safety, quality health care, access to education, civic participation and social support, living conditions, and natural resources.

Prosperity has grown globally, and the whole world, in general, is more prosperous than ever. However, safety and security continue to fall globally. It is driven in part by declines in people’s living conditions, like being unable to afford food and shelter. Also, there has been a small increase in the number of deaths caused by terrorism in recent years.

In the most prosperous countries in the world, people are healthier, have excellent living conditions, better educated, and living under good governance within more vibrant economies. Here are the world’s most prosperous countries:

  1. Denmark
    Denmark is the world’s most prosperous country since 2009. It also ranked in the top 10 for all 12 major categories. Manufacturing has been one of the main foundations for Denmark’s economic growth and social welfare since World War II. A number of services are available to its citizens, free of charge. Denmark has also been named as one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s the best country to move to if you’re looking for the best living conditions.
  2. Norway
    The second most prosperous country is Norway – a beautiful place on earth, with a fascinating history, rich culture, stunning cities, and views. It’s the leading nation when it comes to personal freedom, good governance, and social capital. Oil and gas production account for 20 percent of its economy. It’s also rich in petroleum, hydropower, forests, fishes, and minerals.
  3. Switzerland
    Switzerland is the third most prosperous and the safest country in the world to live in. It has the lowest level of violent crimes in any nation. The Swiss are known to have a rich and strong economy, thanks to their free market economy, supported by the strictly-limited government, private ownership, excellent financial managers, and favorable tax and banking laws. The country trades all over the world with anyone with any form of government. The Swiss also enjoys low unemployment and a highly skilled labor force.
  4. Sweden
    Sweden was hit with a financial crisis, but it still belongs to the most prosperous countries in the world. It’s also the best country in the world for empowering its citizens. The vibrant startup scene has put this country on the top for entrepreneurship and opportunity.
  5. Finland
    Finland ranks fifth in the list of the most prosperous countries in the world. The Finnish enjoy good governance, as well as personal freedom. They offer the best educational systems in the world and high levels of human capital.
  6. Netherlands
    The Netherlands performs strongly in providing great living conditions and excellent governance. It rose to be one of the most prosperous nations in the world since the end of World War II due to free trade and agriculture. The steady natural gas resource has been the country’s source of wealth, as the Netherlands accounts for more than a quarter of all natural gas reserves in the European Union.
  7. New Zealand
    New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world when it comes to its natural views, as it offers a fantastic diversity of landscapes. While it’s an amazing tourist spot, New Zealand also performs strongly in governance and investment environment. It offers a great education and personal freedom to its citizens. It’s also placed among the most tolerant countries in the world to immigrants.
  8. Germany
    After World War II, Germany was in a ruined state facing a bleak future. But when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Germany gradually prospered into one of the first-class power nations in the world. The German economy is a highly developed social market economy, being the largest national economy in Europe and the third-biggest in the world.
  9. Luxembourg
    Luxembourg is a rich country largely dependent on the banking industry. It’s a diversified industrialized nation with one of the highest per capita GDP in the world. Formerly, Luxembourg’s riches were dependent on steel, but when the industry declined, it diversified and is now known as one of the most powerful investment management centers in Europe.
  10. Iceland
    Iceland has a mixed economy with high levels of trade and government intervention. The primary source of electrical supply in the country is hydropower. Iceland topped the list of nations ranked by the Human Development Index and was one of the most egalitarian governments. It’s a small nation, and its key to prosperity is the degree to which altruism and equity govern the economy.

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