U.S. Ranks 9th in Global Prosperity Rankings 2009

The London-based think tank Legatum Institute has published “The 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index“. The U.S. is ranked at number 9 in this list.

The Top 10 Countries in the Prosperity Index are listed below:


The Legatum Prosperity Index is unique because it “is the world’s only global assessment of wealth and wellbeing; unlike other studies that rank countries by actual levels of wealth, life satisfaction or development, the Prosperity Index produces rankings based upon the very foundations of prosperity – those factors that help drive economic growth and produce happy citizens over the long term.”

Finland took the top spot followed by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.Compared to the U.S., these top 5 countries rank higher in Health, Safety& Security, Governance and Social Capital.

The U.S. was ranked at overall ranking of 1 in 2007 in a three-way tie that included Sweden and Norway. In 2009, the US has fallen behind to ninth rank. Despite the current economic slowdown, USA is the best country in the world for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Health is one category that US performs poorly. In the top 10 listing, it has the worst number for health. Globally US ranks 27th. The report notes “Dissatisfaction
with their overall health is dragging down Americans’ sense of well-being, affecting their
determination to get ahead and their faith in their healthcare system.”

Despite the billions of dollars spent on security at the federal and state levels, US ranks 19th in the safety and security. This is not surprising since the current economic problems are leading more Americans to commit crimes. As the gap between the haves and have-nots widens and more gated-communities spring up across the country, security and safety in many communities may get worse. The report also cited the high per capita murder in this country relative to other developed countries. For example, Finland ranks number 1 in this category followed by Norway.

Commenting on the report, Will Inboden wrote in Foreign Policy wrote:

“The distinction between domestic and foreign policy is very thin — America’s education system, health-care system, domestic economy, and even family and community strength, are inseparably linked to its international posture and power. In other words, yes, the prevailing debate about health care is in part a foreign-policy issue.”

This argument completely misses the mark. One country’s education system and health-care system are not related to foreign-policy.The broken education system in this country and the convoluted healthcare system has nothing to do with America’s foreign policy or power.Some might argue that the main problem with our government policies is that we do not have our priorities right. We ignore many of our domestic issues and instead focus our resources, time, money and energy on foreign issues that most Americans could not care. Would you agree?

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