By Tim Montgomerie
The Mayfair-based Legatum Institute rank Britain as the fifth best country in the world for entrepreneurship and innovation:
"There are clear signs of robust innovative activity in the UK. Its royalty receipts as well as licence fees and receipts are the third highest in the world, bringing in 13.9 billion USD per year. It places in the top 20 for both its high R&D expenditure and its high ICT exports. Although Britons perceive the entrepreneurial environment to be below average*, start-up costs are ranked seventh lowest in the world. Mobile phone access is high, and the country places in the top 10 for both access to internet bandwidth and to secure internet servers, all of which points to a strong infrastructure for entrepreneurship. The UK is among the 20 best countries worldwide for equality of economic development across different socio-economic groups. However, only 78%* of Britons believe that hard work will get them ahead in life, which is below the global average."
The UK's overall ranking in this third annual edition of the Prosperity Index is 13th. "Mediocre" education and health services hold the UK back. Norway, Denmark and Finland top the league. Zimbabwe is ranked bottom of the league.
Two interesting key findings from the report. It argues that two Europes are emerging with the gap between successful and unsuccessful nations widening (click on image to enlarge):
It also concludes that it is much harder for a large country to be prosperous. Noting that the USA and Japan are exceptions, most of the world's most populous nations lack the cohesion of smaller nations and struggle to break into the top twenty in any category.
The Prosperity Index site is here and it contains a treasure trove of information about the nations of the world.