The Legatum Institute, a British think tank, ranks Estonia’s prosperity 21st in the world among 167 ranked countries.
According to the think tank, Estonia performs highly in the natural environment and the economic quality categories of the index, but is the weakest in the health category. However, the institute says the biggest improvement compared with a decade ago came in the health category.
The institute also notes that since 2010, Estonia has moved up in the rankings by three places.
The Legatum Prosperity Index is based on over a hundred different variables analysed across 67 nations around the world. Source data includes the Gallup World Poll, the World Development Indicators, the International Telecommunication Union, the Fragile States Index, the Worldwide Governance Indicators, Freedom House, the World Health Organisation, the World Values Survey, Amnesty International and the Centre for Systemic Peace. The variables are grouped into nine sub-indexes, which are averaged using equal weights.
The nine sub-indexes are economic quality, investment environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital and natural environment.
In the economic quality category, Estonia ranks 15th in the world; in the investment environment category, 20th; in the governance category, 16th; in the education category, 19th; in the health category, 51st; in the safety and security category, 30th; in the personal freedom category, 25th; in the social capital category, 41st; and in the natural environment category, 10th among the 167 countries ranked.
Estonia fares better than its neighbours – apart from Finland
The most prosperous country in the world, according to the Legatum Institute, is Denmark, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland. The United Kingdom is ranked 13th and the United States 18th.
Looking at Estonia’s neighbours, Latvia is ranked 32nd, Lithuania 34th and Russia 76th.
The least prosperous nations in the world, according to the think tank, are South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Yemen, Chad and Somalia.
The Legatum Institute is a think tank based in London, run by Philippa, the Baroness Stroud, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament. The organisation’s stated aim is to advance the education of the public in national and international political, social and economic policy.
It was founded in 2007 by the Legatum Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Dubai-based investment firm the Legatum Group. The institute is funded by over 40 donors, including the Legatum Foundation.
The institute publishes the annual Legatum Prosperity Index that measures prosperity across countries by applying a combination of material wealth and life satisfaction factors. The report has been in continuous publication since its launch in 2007 and has expanded its coverage from 50 countries to 167 in 2020.
Cover: Estonia performs highly in the natural environment, according to the prosperity index. A canoe trip in Estonia. The image is illustrative. Photo by Mart Vares.