By 3 News online staff
A new global survey of wealth and wellbeing has ranked New Zealand fifth-highest overall, and first in the world for education.
The annual Prosperity Index, produced by London-based public policy think-tank The Legatum Institute, aims to assess national prosperity by taking into account traditional economic indicators (like GDP per capita) as well as indicators of personal wellbeing. In total, 89 different variables are assessed across eight different categories.
While New Zealand ranks very highly, in fifth place overall, the country has actually dropped a place after being ranked fourth in the 2011 index. But New Zealand also found itself in fifth place in 2010, up from tenth place in both 2009 and 2008.
This year New Zealand was pipped by Australia in fourth and the three Scandinavian countries at the top of the table. Most of the New Zealand data included in the 2012 survey dates from 2010 and 2011.
New Zealand tops the education rankings – which were made on the basis of performance in three areas: access to education, quality of education and human capital.
New Zealand’s lowest ranked sub-index was economic prosperity, for which we were ranked 27 of the 142 countries in the survey. This sub-index measured macroeconomic policies, economic satisfaction and expectations, foundation for growth, and financial sector efficiency.
The Prosperity Index recorded New Zealand’s GDP per capita at US$29,534.50, and average life satisfaction at 7.19 out of 10.
This year is the first time the United States has been ranked outside of the top ten in the Prosperity Index – dropping to twelfth place.
THE 2012 LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX TOP 10
5. New Zealand
READ MORE: See the full rankings here