The London-based Legatum Institute has released its annual Prosperity Index, which ranks 142 countries based on eight main parameters: Economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital (which includes social cohesion and family and community ties).
This year, the Scandinavian countries top the list, the United States has dropped out of the top 10 to the 12th place, and Israel
The top 10 countries are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland. The bottom 10 countries are Ethiopia, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Togo, Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Afghanistan, Congo and the Central African Republic.
The first 30 countries on the list are considered high ranking countries, the next 41 are upper-middle ranking countries, the next 41 – lower-middle ranking countries, and the last 30 – low ranking countries.
In five parameters, Israel is located between high ranking and upper-middle ranking: In economy the Jewish state ranked 29th, in entrepreneurship – 31st, in governance – 28th, in education – 33rd, and in health – 35th.
Israel's highest ranking was in social capital – 22nd, but in two other parameters it received very low rankings – security (115) and personal freedom (118).
How did Israel do compared to previous years? In 2009-2011, the list included just 110 countries. In this year's list, which includes 142 countries, Israel is preceded by three countries which were not in the list in previous years: Luxemburg (11th place), Malta (25) and Cyprus (30).
Deducting these three countries puts Israel in the 37th place, similarly to the past two years – 38th in 2011 and 36th in 2010. In 2009 Israel ranked 33rd, and in 2008 – 19th.
The strongest economy belongs to Switzerland, which ranked first in governance as well. Denmark leads in entrepreneurship, New Zealand in education, Luxemburg in health and Iceland in security.
Canadians enjoy the most personal freedom, while Norwegians lead in social capital. The US economy ranked 20th, while the economies of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan made it to the top 10.