India ranks 100 in global prosperity index, catches up with China

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity.

India has been ranked at the 100th position among 149 nations in the global prosperity index, showing a four-rank improvement from last year, according to 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index released on Wednesday.

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity. Last month, the country jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, owing to the string of reforms implemented by the Narendra Modi government.

The improvement in Economic Quality is reported to be due to the proportion of the population with bank accounts, which increased to 53 percent in 2014 from 35 percent in 2011. While gains in Business Environment is said to be driven by improved intellectual property rights.

India recorded the second largest increase in the business environment after South Africa that saw the largest jump due to reduced electricity connection costs and an improved Logistics Performance Index.

In Governance, where every region shows an improvement, India’s legislation recorded also an increase in the ability to challenge regulation in the legal system.

The percentage of Indians who reported to not have enough food to eat rose to 35 percent from 26 percent in 2016, owing to the largest falls reported the availability of adequate food since last year.

India is catching up with China, which ranks 90th in the prosperity index.

“India has narrowed the gap on China to a quarter of what it was in 2012,” said the report.

More Indians reported being satisfied with their standard of living and household incomes as India shows significant improvement in Economic Quality and Education.

In contrast, China, saw a decline in the same pillars as economically people perceived greater barriers to trade and less encouragement of competition; and educationally through a falling primary school completion rate.

“Our hope is that our Index can continue to help governments and policy-makers to identify and promote policies that create pathways from poverty to prosperity,” the Legatum Institute’s CEO, Philippa Stroud said.

India’s neighbour, Pakistan ranks 137th in the prosperity index. It performs poorly in Natural Environment, Safety and Security and Personal Freedom.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is the world’s leading global measure of economic and social wellbeing that studies 104 indicators under these categories: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health and Natural Environment.

Norway tops the prosperity index by regaining the first spot from New Zealand. The country shows consistent improvement in business environment and governance in the past twelve months, with Norwegians more optimistic about starting a business and more confident in their government than last year.

Europe ranks fifth in the index, while the UK maintains its 10th place driven by the best Business Environment in Europe. Economic Quality in the UK has also begun to recover and now sits ahead of both Canada and the US.

The key findings show that global prosperity now sits at its highest level — 2.6 percent up since 2007, in spite of significant international turbulence, an alarming deterioration in global security and a widening gap between the most and least 30 nations prosperous nations.

Nearly two-thirds of nations show a decline in Safety and Security pillar, five times more than any of the Index’s other pillars. The Middle East and North African (MENA) records the highest decline as a result of Syria’s civil war.

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