Norway is the World's most prosperous country, according to the Legatum Prosperity Index 2010, up from last year's fifth place. Denmark is ranked second, while Finland is in third place.
The index is made by the think tank Legatum Institute, which states that and the Prosperity Index defines prosperity as both wealth and wellbeing, and finds that the most prosperous nations in the world are not necessarily those that have only a high GDP, but are those that also have happy, healthy, and free citizens.
Presenting the Index in the Wall Stree Journal, former U.K. business secretary and former EU trade commissioner, Lord Mandelson writes:
- A country needs more than just wealth to be prosperous. It needs to endow its citizens with basic human freedoms, for example those that come from a safe water supply, a roof over your head and the ability to hold politicians to account for these and other essentials of life. It needs to educate its children and take care of its elderly. It needs to develop a society in which people trust one another.
- It needs to foster a climate of entrepreneurship and innovation. None of these are achievable without the rule of law and strong, democratic governments, Lord Mandelson writes.