PH is 60th most prosperous country in Legatum index

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(CNN Philippines) — A London-based think tank ranks the Philippines as 60th prosperous in a list of 149 countries based on interpersonal relations, environmental  preservation, and governance.

While the country's top three categories were in Social Capital (21st), Natural Environment (44th), and Governance (62nd), Legatum Institute's Prosperity Index stated that the country's lowest indices were in Economic Quality (69th), Health (98th), and Safety and Security (141st).

Legatum Institute is a think tank of private investment firm Legatum which, according to the group's web site, has interests in businesses and programs that promote sustainable human development.

The index's rankings are not based solely on wealth.

"Prosperity is as much about wellbeing as it is about wealth. There are numerous factors that together determine the life chances and opportunities made available to a nation's citizens," the think tank said.

'Make way for VIPPs'

The think tank says four countries it called VIPPs (Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Poland) "show the most promise," as these performed "solidly" in education, governance, and social capital.

It said the VIPPs show more potential than the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in driving global prosperity.

"Together, the VIPPs account for 6.6 percent of the world's total population… As they are home to such large populations, growth in the prosperity of the VIPPs is growth in the prosperity of hundreds of millions of people worldwide," Legatum Insitute said.

Similarly, it said the Philippines was among the "bright stars" of Southeast Asian prosperity The country is grouped with Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

"These countries have in common increasingly competitive economies and business environments, like many Asian countries, but crucially also greater delivery of prosperity across key structural areas like governance, personal freedom, and social capital," Legatum explained.

It pointed out that global prosperity inequality is on the downtrend, as countries at the bottom of the index improve on their prosperity level faster than those at the top.

The think tank said all data in the Prosperity Index comes from recognized international sources, like the World Bank, International Labor Organization, and the World Health Organization. It also collaborates with global polling group Gallup.

New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Canada were the top 5 most prosperous countries. Legatum said New Zealand has "a combination of strong society, free and open markets, and high levels of personal freedom."

At the bottom list were Yemen (149th), Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (145th).

The think tank ranked the 149 countries based on nine indices:

  • Economic Quality - the openness of an economy, macroeconomic indicators, foundations for growth, economic opportunity, and financial sector efficiency
  • Business Environment - a country's entrepreneurial environment, its business infrastructure, barriers to innovation, and labour market flexibility
  • Governance - effective governance, democracy and political participation, and rule of law;
  • Education - access to education, quality of education, and human capital;
  • Health - basic physical and mental health, health infrastructure, and preventative care;
  • Safety and Security - national security and personal safety;
  • Personal Freedom - national progress towards basic legal rights, individual freedoms, and social tolerance;
  • Social Capital - the strength of personal relationships, social network support, social norms, and civic participation; and
  • Natural Environment - the quality of the natural environment, environmental pressures, and preservation efforts.