Latvia ranked 40th in world for prosperity

Latvia has been ranked 40th in the Legatum Prosperity Index 2015 developed by the Legatum Institute, improving its ranking by four places from 2014.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking of 142 world countries based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal well-being, and quality of life produced by the Legatum Institute which has the slogan "Prosperity through revitalising capitalism and democracy".

Latvia sits between Cyprus in 39th spot and neighboring Lithuania which has risen one position to 41st place in this year's index.

Estonia has ranked 31st, the highest overall ranking among the three Baltic states, having climbed one position from last year.

In specific ranking categories Latvia's best effort comes in education where it ranks 35th out of the 142 countries in the survey.

The Index notes that on health issues in particular, Europe remains clearly divided between the countries of the east that used to be behind the iron curtain and those in the west:

"The Prosperity Index shows that in the areas of health and wellbeing the continent is still starkly divided and that this division has little to do with wealth," the report says.

"Research into wellbeing has revealed a post-Communist paradox: people in these countries report lower levels of life satisfaction than would be expected given their relative wealth."

Analysing the 43 European countries in the Prosperity Index revealed that people living in post-Communist countries live 6.5 years less than their counterparts in other European countries.

"However, this is just the crude difference, and is partly driven by the greater wealth and development of the majority of the Western European states. Using regression analysis we can control for the effect of wealth. Doing so reveals that people in the post-Communist states still live four and a half years less," the Legatum Insititute said.

"We find that people in post-Communist countries have more health problems, enjoy less physical health, are less satisfied with the healthcare they receive, and are less likely to be satisfied with their lives." 

Just like last year, Norway was given the highest overall ranking in the Legatum Prosperity Index 2015, followed by Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Finland and Ireland.

The United States has been ranked 11th, Germany 14th and the United Kingdom 15th in the Legatum Prosperity Index 2015.

The Legatum Institute has been publishing the annual Prosperity Index since 2007.

You can read the full rankings and data set HERE.

Latvia's data is HERE.

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