New Zealand has been rated the fifth most prosperous nation
to live in, according to an international report.
The 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 142 nations on their
"wealth and wellbeing" in eight categories, including health,
education, safety and security, and economy.
New Zealand scored in the top 20 for all categories, coming
out fifth overall, but slipped two places since the last
Legatum Prosperity Index was published in 2009.
According to the report's publishers, one of the largest
shifts for the country between the two index reports was in
the Safety and Security category, where New Zealand dropped
from eighth to 15th place.
This was "due to increases in demographic pressures, human
immigration and group grievances," the index report said.
The Legatum Prosperity Index is published by the London-based
Legatum Institute, which provides research on different
economic and social issues around the world. The institute's
parent company was founded by Kiwi billionaire Christopher
Chandler in 2006.
NZ's top four
New Zealand's education system is the best in the world,
according to the index, which assessed access to education,
quality of education and human capital in the education
sector. New Zealand performed consistently well in education
Standout results included nearly 82 per cent of Kiwis being
satisfied with the quality of education, compared to a global
average of 66.3 per cent. Nearly 90 per cent of Kiwis also
said children had the opportunity to learn, compared to a
global average of 70.2 per cent.
Since the 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index, New Zealand improved
one place. According to the index report, the move was
"mainly because of an improvement in regulation quality and a
decrease in the perception of corruption".
A breakdown of results showed nearly two-thirds of Kiwis had
confidence in the Government, compared to a global average of
51.5 per cent.
About 60 per cent of New Zealanders had confidence in the
judiciary, compared to a global average of about 52 per cent.
The Social Capital category evaluated how factors like
volunteering, helping strangers and making charitable
donations impacted on economic performance and life
satisfaction. New Zealand's results showed nearly 40 per cent
of people had volunteered time in the month prior to being
questioned for the survey, compared to a global average of
20.1 per cent. About two-thirds of Kiwis also said they had
donated to charity and helped strangers in the month before
being spoken to for the survey, compared to the global
average of 28.3 per cent and 47.9 per cent
Protection of a person's civil liberties are a top priority
in New Zealand, index results indicated.
According to data, New Zealand scored the top value for
protection of civil liberties. Kiwis also had a high
tolerance for ethnic groups and were satisfied with their
freedom of choice - with over 90 per cent of people giving
positive answers for each sub-category.
The global average for each sub-category was 68 per cent and
71.7 per cent respectively.
New Zealand's overall rank: 5
Category breakdown for NZ:
Education - 1
Governance - 2
Social capital - 2
Personal freedom - 5
Safety and security - 15
Entrepreneurship and opportunity - 15
Economy - 17
Health - 20
2013 Legatum Prosperity Index, top 10:
5. New Zealand
source: Legatum Prosperity Index