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What makes people happy? And what defines a ‘happy’ country? According to the research institute Legatum, prosperity is a vital component in the equation. The London-based firm have just released their annual global Prosperity Index for 2017, which reveals the most prosperous countries in the world.
There are a number of factors that affect what the institute defines as prosperity. Money is of course one, but there are actually 104 elements taken into account in order to come up with the final worldwide ranking. They traditional indicators, such as the number of people in full-time work and a country’s per capita GDP, as well as some more unusual ones, such as how well-rested members of the population feel on a day-to-day basis.
These 104 variables are then subdivided into nine categories: economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment.
149 countries were surveyed and these are the official top 25, ranked:
24. Hong Kong
2. New Zealand
That’s right, Norway is back at number one after being topped by New Zealand in 2016 for the first time in seven years!
The nation ranked first in natural environment, seventh in health, fourth in education, third in safety and security, fifth in social capital, eighth in personal freedom, second in governance, eighth in business environment and eighth in economic equality.