The Legatum Institute, a British think tank, ranks Estonia’s prosperity 27th in the world among 149 ranked countries.
The Legatum Prosperity Index assesses countries on the promotion of their citizens’ flourishing, reflecting both wealth and wellbeing. It measures prosperity based on nine pillars: the economic quality, the business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, health and the natural environment. Using data from 149 countries, it tracks whether countries are moving towards or away from prosperity.
Estonia is weak on the social capital
In the overall prosperity index rankings, Estonia has fallen by one position from 26 to 27 when compared with last year. Since the prosperity index began in 2006, Estonia has moved up the rankings table by three places.
Estonia performs best on natural environment (7th) and governance (21st) and scores lowest on the social capital (60th) pillar, the index said. The biggest positive change, compared with last year, came in social capital increasing by 11 places, whereas the ranking dropped by two places on business environment (28th).
The social capital pillar measures the strength of personal relationships, social network support, social norms and civic participation in a country, whereas the business environment pillar measures a country’s entrepreneurial environment, its business infrastructure, barriers to innovation and labour market flexibility.
Global prosperity on the rise, but the gap is growing
Globally, progress towards prosperity has been positive, the index notes. “More countries have seen improvements than those that haven’t, while poorer regions of the world have also advanced. For example, Asia continues its strong improvements in prosperity; and many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are also progressing, gaining particularly in business environment, governance and social capital,” the institute said.
The most prosperous country, according to the index, is Norway, followed by New Zealand and Finland. The least prosperous countries are Yemen, the Central African Republic and Sudan. The index points out that the gap between the top and bottom scorers in the index has been growing for five straight years; and the lowest score has not been so low for eight years.
What comes to Estonia’s neighbours, then Latvia is ranked 37th, Lithuania 41st and Russia 101st.
The Legatum Institute is a think tank based in London, the UK, and it’s sponsored by Legatum, a private investment firm headquartered in Dubai. According to Wikipedia, the institute considered to be central to the Conservative Party’s case for a “hard Brexit” (whereby the UK leaves the EU and does not join EFTA or the EEA). It is funded by New Zealand billionaire and EU citizen Christopher Chandler, Wikipedia adds.
Cover: A summer scene in Estonia (the image is illustrative/by Tõnu Tunnel).