Do you know that every year, Legatum Institute indexes and ranks countries based on wealth, happiness and health? There are 89 different categories each country has to pass based on variables such as the economy, security, health and freedom. Do you know who’s number one against 142 nations for 2016?
Here are the countries that made it to the top 30. Can you call one (or a few) of them your home?
#30: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
(Image source: Villa Guru; City: Dubai)
UAE is the only country in the Middle East that made it to the top 30. It ranked number 21 on the economic scale, which should not be a surprise given the amount of wealth floating around in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
(Image source: AliExpress; City: Warsaw)
Poland had a relatively high score for a multitude of categories but had the best one in the personal freedom (29th out of 142), and safety and security (26th out of 142) categories. The results show people in Poland are the 29th freest citizens in the world.
#28: South Korea
(Image source: SuitQais Diaries; City: Busan)
South Korea has a strong economy that’s extremely prosperous. It was ranked 17th out of 149 in the economic category.
(Image source: Fly to let; City: Algarve)
Although the past few years has been a little bit of a downfall for Portugal in terms of its economy, the country is still affluent in other areas. Portugal ranked in the top 20 for safety and security as well as individual freedom.
#26: Czech Republic
(Image source: Unknown; City: Prague)
Last year, the Czech Republic was 29th overall, and now has bumped up to 26th. Their economy ranks 13th out of 142, but their social relations category hit rock bottom.
(Image source: SCIM; City: Maribor)
Slovenia has a very strong educational system, which helped them get to the top 30. Their economy ranked 58th out of 142, which put them down from 24 in 2015 to 25 in 2016.
(Image source: Thompson; City: Minorca)
Spain, which once had one of the world’s most powerful empires, scored 24th, thanks to its strong educational system and individual freedom.
(Image source: Malta Gaming Authority; City: Balluta Bay)
Malta, ruled by Britain until 1964, and home to Hagar Qim (one of the best preserved ancient limestone temple dating back 5,000 years), scored strongly in all areas except education, which scored 42nd out of 142. However, due to its prosperity, it boosted its rank up to the 23rd place.
(Image source: Social Matter; City: Paris)
France, the world’s most popular tourist destination, ranked 8th in overall health but has fallen from 21st place to 22nd due to its social relations score.
(Image source: Casino; City: Taipei)
This little island nation that’s about the size of Massachusetts, placed 6th in safety and security, which boosted its rank up to 21st.
#20: Hong Kong
(Image source: Magic; City: Hong Kong)
Hong Kong, a name that means “Fragrant Harbor”, ranked in the top 20th thanks to its safety and security, entrepreneurship and other opportunities available to its people. Interestingly enough, the city of Hong Kong has one of the world’s highest per-capita concentrations of cafes and restaurants
(Image source: World Strides; City: Tokyo)
It may not be surprising that people living in Japan are the 7th healthiest in the world. However, due to the lack of individual freedom, which gave Japan a score of 33 out of 142, it lowered its overall rank.
(Image source: Safarhome; City: Brussels)
Belgium, the country where the Big Bang theory originated, ranked in the top 25 across all categories. This ranked it as the 18th wealthiest, healthiest and richest country in the world.
(Image source: Singapore Hotels and Guide; City: Singapore)
Singapore, also known as the City in a Garden, is the world’s only island city-state. And because of its strong economy, Singapore made its way up to number 17.
(Image source: iExplore; City: Hallstatt)
Austria, which has one of the oldest national flags in the world, scored in the top 10 for being one of the healthiest countries, and for having one of the best entrepreneur and other opportunities available to its people. However, it wasn’t enough to place it in the top 10.
#15: United Kingdom
(Image source: Your Amazing Places; City: London)
In the 18th century, the British Empire covered 20 percent of the world’s surface and was home to a quarter of the world’s population. In today’s world, it continues to rank high in safety and security, while providing its citizens with a strong education system.
(Image source: Tourist Destinations; City: Cologne)
Germany has the largest population in the European Union. And its solid economic growth placed it in the top 15 countries for being the wealthiest, safest and happiest in the world.
(Image source: Unknown; City: Luxembourg City)
Individual freedom and good health are enjoyed by citizens of Luxembourg, along with strong governance and a high-income economy, securing its place as number 13.
(Image source: Idealseminaire.fr; City: Reykjavik)
The frigid island of Iceland, where the majority of its people believe in elves, ranks top five in individual freedom, safety and security, entrepreneurship and opportunity. However, it did fall from being 11th in 2015 to 12th in 2016.
#11: United States
(Image source: Destination Hotels; City: Miami)
The world knows that the United States is the world’s most powerful country, with the highest health score, however, it placed 33rd in the safety and security category.
(Image source: Lonely Planet; City: Dublin)
Ireland, a country where an average of 131.1 liters of beer is consumed per year, is number four in the safety and security index. This helped it jump from 12th place in 2015 to 10th place in 2016.
(Image source: Condé Nast Traveller; City: Helsinki)
Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, securing the 5th place for having one of the best governments in the world. Nonetheless, its economy is somewhat weak, ranking it 33rd out of 142.
(Image source: Invest In Holland; City: Amsterdam)
In 2015, Netherlands was ranked number 9, and this year got a boost to 7th place, thanks to its strong education system, good health, and individual freedom.
(Image source: Painters Melbourne; City: Melbourne)
For three years in a row, Australia has secured its spot as the 7th wealthiest, happiest and safest in the world. In 2016, it ranked number one in having the world’s best education system.
(Image source: Unknown; City: Toronto)
Canada is the world’s most educated country, where over half its residents holding college degrees. It should also be no surprise that Canadians are the freest people in the world.
(Image source: iExplore; City: Stockholm)
Sweden ranks first place in being the country with the world’s highest levels of entrepreneurship and other opportunities, which pushed the country from number 6 in 2015 to number 5 in 2016.
#4: New Zealand
(Image source: Jason Law; City: Aukland)
This non-European nation is the most prosperous in the world, and it has the highest level of social capital on the planet.
(Image source: Lonely Planet; City: Copenhagen)
Interestingly enough, Denmark ranks 16th in health, yet it has a phenomenal education system and government, as well as a high social relations score. This helped push the country from number 4 in 2015 to number 3 in 2016.
(Image source: Lonely Planet; City: Zurich)
For three years in a row, Switzerland has been 2nd in the prosperity category. The country ranks at the top for its government, and its economy is rated the second-highest in the world.
(Image source: Lofoten.info; City: Lofoten)
Would you have guessed that Norway is number one? The Scandinavian country is the most prosperous in the world and has been number one for seven years in a row. In all categories, it has ranked in the top 10.