The Legatum Institute, a London based research institute released its 10th annual global Prosperity Index in November, a huge survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in the world.

The organisation compares 104 variables to come up with its list, splitting those variables into nine subindexes. One of the big components of the ranking is the strength of a country's economy.

Economies are not ranked solely by their size and strength, with the Legatum Institute taking factors like openness, financial sector efficiency, and the economic opportunities afforded to people in the country into account.

The index looked at the 149 countries in the world that have the most available data. We have pulled in the 19 nations that scored highest in the Prosperity Index's economic sub-section.

Check the top five below that shows 4 out of 5 are Europeans:

5. Germany — The powerhouse behind much of Europe's limited success in recent years, Germany is behind only the USA, China, and Japan in nominal terms. It is also the world's third biggest exporter sending more than $1 trillion worth of goods overseas every year.


4. Switzerland — People living in Switzerland are by far the wealthiest of those in any major economy around the world. The country's economy is heavily dependent on its famously high-powered financial services industry.


3. Sweden — In line with its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden has a generous universal welfare state. That means income taxes are pretty high across the country. Sweden was one of the first nations to experiment with negative interest rates, aimed at boosting stagnant inflation in the country.


2.Netherlands — With a nominal GDP of more than $750 billion in 2015, despite having just 17 million citizens, the Netherlands punches above its weight globally. The concept of a stock market, as we would recognise it now, was first created in the Netherlands during the early 17th century.


1.New Zealand — The world's top economy, according to the Legatum Institute, bizarrely is heavily reliant on the success of its milk industry, and particularly Fonterra, the company responsible for approximately 30% of the world's dairy exports. When Fonterra succeeds, so too does New Zealand.

If you are intereted to see the whole list, please have a look here.

Source: Business Insider, dated: 30.Nov.2016

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