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Norway is one of the few countries in the world that has been receiving various accolades year in and year out. In 2017, Norway was considered the “Happiest Country in the World” by LexisNexis. Norway also never fails to make it into the top tier in various lists detailing the most beautiful countries in the world.
However, there is one accolade that the country is proud of getting nine times since 2007: the “World’s Most Prosperous Country.”
The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute, whose mission is to “create the pathways from poverty to prosperity, by fostering Open Economies, Inclusive Societies and Empowered People.” This index shows how countries from different parts of the world have veered toward or away from a higher standard of living or prosperity.
Each country included in the study is evaluated according to nine important pillars or factors which are:
● Economic quality
● Business environment
● Personal freedom
● Social capital
● Safety and security
● Natural environment
What Made Norway Top the List
Norway ranked impressively high in five pillars of the Legatum Prosperity Index which propelled it to the top of the list. These five pillars or factors are:
1. Safety and Security
Norway ranked first in terms of safety and security.
This pillar measures how well citizens and properties are protected. This also evaluated by how safe and secure the citizens feel on a personal and national level.
This shouldn’t be a surprise since Norway ranked second on the 2018 Gallup survey of the world’s safest countries to visit. The survey showed that both locals and tourists feel safe in this country.
Additionally, Norway has a relatively low crime rate, especially when compared to other Western European countries with large populations. Norway is a peaceful nation where civil unrest is almost nonexistent.
Norway ranked third in this pillar. This factor pertains to a country’s performance in the following key areas:
● Effective governance
● Democracy and political participation
● Rule of law
Norway follows a parliamentary constitutional monarchy system where the executive branch is headed by the prime minister and exercised by the king’s council and the cabinet.
The country got a high rating for the adherence of its citizens to the rule of law. In addition, Norway received high ratings for the quality and relevance of regulations they have implemented.
Lastly, the nation scored high in terms of the efficiency, impartiality, and accountability of its government.
3. Social Capital
The country also ranked third in terms of social capital, a pillar which measures the extent to which people trust and support one another and have the support of their family, friends, and other people.
It evaluates the depth and quality of personal relationships, social network support, norms, and people’s civic participation.
In Norway, a study was released in 2017 showing that there has been little change in the number of locals who have people whom they can count on for help when the need arises.
With this in mind, it is safe to say that Norwegians have good personal and social relationships and they are more likely to help someone in need. They are also more open to making cash donations and volunteering to aid others.
All these efforts go a long way in pushing and maintaining the country’s prosperity status.
In terms of education, Norway ranked fourth.
This pillar takes into account the country’s quality of education, the people’s access to education, and human capital.
The Norwegian public education system is considered one of the best in Europe. The general level of education in Norway is even higher than the European average.
The country has done a great job of maintaining the quality of education in both public and private schools. Because of this, many Norwegians are well-educated and the number of adults with at least an upper secondary level of education continues to grow.
5. Economic Quality
Lastly, Norway ranked seventh in terms of economic quality.
This factor rates countries on:
● Openness of economy
● Economic opportunities
● Financial sector efficiency
● Foundations for growth
● Macroeconomic indicators
Norway is one of the few countries with an inclusive economy that continues to perform well. The country has the lowest income inequality score in the world. Because of this, Norway has a number of the best companies to invest in the long term.
The country is also successful in translating economic growth into high and rising living standards. Moreover, Norway is a consistent performer in terms of creating jobs for the majority of the population and reducing poverty.
With its great track record and continuous effort, Norway is on the right track to landing on the top of this year’s prosperity index as well.