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Sweden climbs in global prosperity ranking

31 Oct 2012, 08:12

Published: 31 Oct 2012 08:12 GMT+01:00

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In the 2012 Prosperity Index published on Tuesday by the London-based Legatum Institute think tank, Sweden climbed to third place in 2012, up from fifth place in 2011.

Norway, meanwhile, maintained its hold on the number one spot, while Denmark came in second.

Published annually for the last six years, the Prosperity Index ranks 142 countries based on criteria in eight categories including economic strength, health, education and governance.

In the 2012 ranking, Sweden received highest marks in the "Entrepreneurship and Opportunity" sub-index, ranking second overall on the strength of low business start-up costs, high mobile phone penetration, and a high percentage of people who believe they will get ahead with hard work.

According to Legatum Institute CEO Jeffrey Gedmin, the index creates a "comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of well-being".

"GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity," he said in a statement.

According to Gedmin, successful countries combine "social responsibility with personal freedom".

Despite continuing economic concerns in Europe, European countries dominated the top ten.

The United States, meanwhile, dropped out of the Prosperity Index top ten for the first time, dropping to twelfth place at what Gedmin called a "pivotal time" as the 2012 presidential elections draw closer.

Story continues below…

“As the US struggles to reclaim the building blocks of the American Dream, now is a good time to consider who is best placed to lead the country back to prosperity and compete with the more agile countries that have pushed the US out of the top ten," he said.

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Your comments about this article

10:07 October 31, 2012 by what would thomas paine do
Sweden's "success" is bought with the blood of its serially abused and murdered sick. Planned medical negligence is the new Eugenics.

Sweden is dubbelplusbra:

*Propaganda* is news. Coercion is law. Torture is healthcare.
12:07 October 31, 2012 by EP
So why am I nearly broke every month after I pay my taxes? Is it Sweden that has the prosperity or the people living in Sweden??? If Sweden, the country, well given it has the highest taxes in the world (as per an earlier Local article), then it's hardly surprising.
13:46 October 31, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
@EP Why are you even surprised? You gotta give the sheeple what they want to hear. And if you are born and raised in a country that from the very first breath you take tells you that you belong to the most bad-a$$ motherf*ckers on the planet, I guess people tend to believe in such BS because they don't know anything else.

The US does the same, with the only difference that nobody takes them seriously anymore and the only reason why nobody calls them what they are, a disastrous and bankrupt joke of what they used to be, is because they have a tendency to bomb people who disagree with their agenda.
09:39 November 2, 2012 by Rebel
EP you got it right. It is like in the days of mercantilism where a nation was considered rich if the ruling class had a lot of gold, despite throngs of hungry peasants.

Swedes pay more for products that are inferior, they pay more regressive taxes (i.e. energy taxes of nearly 2/3 of the product) than almost any otehr nation and while one can take the family out to Pizza Hut in the USA without any sense of busting the budget that is not true for this nation.

Sweden is a legend in its own eyes. Sad part is that the only people who believe it are ethnic Swedes who have never really spent time in any otehr western nation and believe the lies of the Swedish media.
18:21 November 2, 2012 by HarryM-B
This prosperity index was not compiled by Swedes. if you read the article again you will see it was comiled by the British London-based Legatum Institute think tank.
13:42 November 3, 2012 by trumanshow
If you live in Sweden on a gross income of 300000kr upwards then life would be ok. Its doubly hard for the relatively small number of people who can't find jobs or are on some sort of arbetsförmedling scheme. I am astounded that Sweden ranks so high for entrepeneurial opportunities. In my experience its a very slow and bureaucratic process and the only way you will succeed is if you can somehow take a slice of the tax money. I have never seen a place where there are so few small businesses. Maybe they are hidden. If you are in the cold and dark half of the year then you really have to believe that where you live has a lot going for it in other ways. Everyone knows that Sweden ranks the pr lists - from the individual to the country itself. Don't, don't, don't believe the hype. Swedes are not fools and thats for sure, constantly presenting themselves to be models of modern living can only benefit them. Other countries could learn that it doesn't pay to wash your dirty laundry in public.
11:43 November 4, 2012 by HorstRadisch
If you grumblers above mean that there are fewer millionaires here than elsewhere, you're probably right. I'm sure the good ole US of A has far more millionaires per capita than Sweden. However, it also has more murders, more crime in general, more poverty, far more people with little or no hope than Sweden has. Also, Sweden's health service and general welfare safety net, whilst far (and sometimes FAR) from perfect, provides a much better society than the supposed Land of the Free (or, as I term it, the Land of the People Who Think They're Free). It costs a lot to eat out regularly, yes. But it doesn't cost much to buy good ingredients and cook for yourself and your family. Which is best for your health and, at least most of the time, the well-being of you and your family? If you think a Pizza Hut meal or a massive helping of McCrap, sorry, McWrap (well, they sound the same) is better than a home-cooked meal, I actually feel sorry for you.

Is Sweden perfect? No, of course it isn't. If it were, 7 billion people would live here and then it would suck beyond all belief. Is anywhere perfect? No, of course not. Switzerland is fantastic, but it's not perfect. Cyprus is great, but it's not perfect. Even Florida's good for a holiday, but ye gods it most certainly ain't perfect!

Is Sweden a fine place to live, if you can put up with the long winters? In my opinion, yes, it is. And I speak as someone who drove a Porsche in the UK and doesn't even own a car here in Sweden today, at least partly for financial reasons, so I don't think anyone would consider me elitist anywhere in Scandinavia, even if I perhaps used to be.
13:04 November 16, 2012 by scandaphile
Some of these whingers need to get out a bit -- out of Sweden, so they can see just how good they've got it.

As for the USA, I call it The Land of the Nothing for Free; former home of the braves.
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