- The 2015 Prosperity Index finds that despite years of economic growth, people living in Latin America do not feel any safer
- Uruguay, Chile and Costa Rica top the Latin American rankings for prosperity, while Haiti, Venezuela and Honduras come bottom
Less than a quarter (22%) of people living in Venezuela feel safe walking alone at night—the lowest in the entire world—according to an international index which highlights how, despite years of economic growth, countries in Latin America are still failing to keep their citizens safe.
The annual Legatum Prosperity Index™ ranks 142 countries across eight categories: the Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Education; Health; Safety & Security; Personal Freedom; and Social Capital.
The 2015 Index (www.prosperity.com), published today by the Legatum Institute, an international think tank based in London, says that Latin America performs poorest on the Safety & Security sub-indices. The region has an average rank of 69th.
The Index reveals:
- In the majority of countries in Latin America, less than half the population feel safe walking alone at night.
- The worst performing country on this measure is Venezuela where only 22% of people feel safe walking alone at night—the lowest in the world.
- The fourth worst in the world is Paraguay, where only 32% of people feel safe.
Latin America also scores badly on the Education Sub-Index. According to data from the World Bank, in half the countries of the region, less than 40% of people attend tertiary education – below the global average.
- The worst performers are Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, and Guatemala, where fewer than 1 in 5 people go on to tertiary education.
- In Brazil fewer only 1 in 4 continue their studies past secondary school.
- Only 32% of Haitians and 39% of people in Paraguay think that their children have the opportunity to succeed, the second and fourth lowest in the world.
The latest Gallup polling also reveals that people increasingly distrust the government and the law. Only in Uruguay does more than 50% of the population have faith in the legal system. The average government approval rate in the region is 41%. The performance of Latin American countries in the Prosperity Index varies significantly:
- Uruguay ranks highest at 32nd globally, followed by Chile (33rd) and Costa Rica (34th).
- Haiti ranks lowest at 140th followed by Venezuela (105th) and Honduras (104th).
The 5 most prosperous countries are: The 5 least prosperous countries are:
- Norway 1. Central Africa Republic
- Switzerland 2. Afghanistan
- Denmark 3. Haiti
- New Zealand 4. Chad
- Sweden 5. Burundi
Nathan Gamester, Programme Director at the Legatum Institute, said:
“Prosperity is about more than economic success. It is about being safe, free to choose the course of your own life, and looking forward to a better life for your children. We see the importance of these issues in Latin America. Uruguay leads the region, ranking in the top 10 for Personal Freedom and within the top 30 for Safety & Security—the only country in the region to achieve both of these feats.
“The Prosperity Index shows that the region is one of contrasts: while Haiti ranks within the bottom three countries, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile are among the top 35 countries in the world. Despite this, the region faces some common challenges. Even the most successfully performing countries are struggling to provide effective education systems and opportunities for their citizens. Addressing these two issues is just as important as combatting the long-running issue of safety, which continues to act as a drag on prosperity in the region.”
To access the full report, data, and analysis, visit www.prosperity.com.
About the Legatum Institute
The Legatum Institute seeks to identify the drivers of prosperity, which we define as both wealth and wellbeing. Our signature product is the Legatum Prosperity Index™, a unique global assessment of national prosperity that assesses 142 countries and is an essential tool for governments across the globe. For more information please go to www.li.com and www.prosperity.com.