Netherlands in top 10 most prosperous countries

The Netherlands has been rated ninth most prosperous country in the world in the annual Legatum Prosperity Index.

The Legatum Institute, an independent public policy organisation in London, produces the report to examine how prosperity is forming and changing across the world.

The index benchmarks 142 countries around the world in eight sub-indices: economy; education; entrepreneurship and opportunity; governance; health; personal freedom; safety and security; and social capital.

According to the report’s findings, global prosperity has risen over the past five years, largely due to improvements in entrepreneurship, health and education.

Prosperity in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has moved up two places in overall prosperity since 2012 to ninth place. Last year, it was ranked eighth.

Its health rating has moved up by seven places to seventh, mainly due to an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in respiratory diseases.

The economy rating has declined by 15 places to 20th, because of decreases in gross domestic savings and perceived job availability.

The country also rates highly in social capital, with high comparative levels of donating to charity and trust in fellow citizens.

It is also eighth in the entrepreneurship rating, reflecting what another recent survey said about being an entrepreneur in the Netherlands becoming easier.

Global prosperity

Norway leads the overall rankings for the fifth year, followed (in order) by Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.

The US (11th) and UK (16th) have both dropped in the economic rankings, while the UK has also dropped three places in the overall prosperity rankings since last year.

Latin American and Caribbean countries have risen above the world average in the economy rating for the first time in 2013, with Mexico, Chile and Brazil all showing large improvements.

When rating on personal freedom, the index found that eight of the bottom 15 countries in this sub-index are in the Middle East, including Turkey (130th), Yemen (140th) and Egypt (142nd). This sub-index measures factors such as the guarantee of individual freedom and social tolerance.

European prosperity

The index shows that the majority of European countries are becoming more prosperous, especially nations such as Slovenia and Czech Republic, who are experiencing significant increases in prosperity.

Germany (14th), however, has recorded the highest increase in overall prosperity in Europe since 2009.

The index shows that there are still significant technological, economic and institutional disparities between the majority of old member states and the majority of new ones.

Another disparity concerns how citizens feel about their country and where it is heading. In new member states, people increasingly believe that working hard will allow you to get ahead, while satisfaction with the education system has also gone up.

By contrast, in old member states, positive expectations about the economy, belief that children will get a good education and approval of the government have all decreased.

This growing optimism in new member states could mean that they might rebound more quickly from Europe’s economic problems, especially if older EU members cannot become more entrepreneurial and offer more hope for the future.

For more information, read the full report.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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