By John Lee.
The index ranks countries in eight categories including economic success, opportunity, health, and personal freedom.
Norway finishes highest on the annual Prosperity Index for the seventh year in a row, with Switzerland ranking 2nd in the Index for the third year in a row, while Denmark has risen from fourth to third since last year.
The least prosperous country is the Central African Republic, which came just below Afghanistan and Haiti.
Nathan Gamester, Director of the Prosperity Index at the Legatum Institute, said:
“The Prosperity Index tells us that human progress goes beyond economics. Norway and other countries at the top of the Index provide opportunity and freedom to their citizens, access to quality healthcare and education, and provide safe environments for people to flourish in.
"By contrast those countries or regions of the world where people feel unsafe, where they are forced to flee from their homes, and where the education and healthcare systems are failing do not provide prosperity to their citizens. Sadly this year the Prosperity Index reveals that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place.
"A dramatic decline in Safety & Security in Africa and the Middle East threatens to undermine prosperity across the world. Many European countries are still struggling to grapple with unemployment. The Prosperity Index shows that the world is becoming more prosperous, but ominous developments suggest that this cannot be taken for granted.”
(Source: Legatum Institute)