The Legatum Institute studies data from 142 nations of the world according to 8 criteria to develop its ranks of prosperity from highest to lowest.
To build the Index Legatum begins by looking at the current academic literature on economic growth and wellbeing. From here, they go through numerous stages of analysis and calculation before arriving at the final Prosperity Index scores and ranks.
What makes a country prosperous ? Economic growth,personal freedom, social capital, good governance, health, entprepreneurship and education are all important factors.
The top rated countries are:
Interestingly, Scandinavia, Canada and the US are all northern nations and all northern nations are prosperous, with one exception. The only northern nation that is not prosperous is Russia at 66th.