Britain has failed to win a top 10
place in a new ranking of successful countries because of poor education and
The Prosperity Index by the Legatum
Institute, a London-based think tank, puts Norway first, Denmark second and
Finland third, with Britain lagging behind in 13th.
The Legatum Institute said its
survey of economy and well-being among 110 counties revealed mediocre scores in
health and education were holding the UK back.
It said key areas of the UK economy
are sound with low inflation and high levels of capital per worker.
But it added a loss of public
confidence in financial institutions since the banking crisis and deep gloom
over job prospects were undermining the country’s performance.
The study comes as David Cameron
vowed to back British business and create a “new economic dynamism”
in an address to the CBI’s annual conference.
Dr Ashley Lenihan, senior fellow at
the Legatum Institute, said: “Despite the recession, the UK continues to
perform well on a number of important economic indicators.
“But beyond the positive
headlines there are signs of weakness in some areas for the UK.
“Measurements of healthcare,
domestic security and quality of education are the areas in which the UK ranks
lowest, falling outside of the global top 20 on the latter two.”
He added: “The index clearly
shows that the UK’s path to future prosperity rests in its ability to be a
global leader in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and in how well it
tackles these barriers to continued growth.”
Of the 110 countries covered by the
study, Britain ranks 101st on public confidence in financial institutions, 98th
on optimism about job prospects and 93rd on expectations of future economic
The Legatum Institute rankings take
into account economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education,
health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital.
The Top 10 Prosperity Index Rankings
5. New Zealand
10. United States