New Zealand Ranks Number 1 For Best Place To Live

According to research by The Legatum Institute, little old New Zealand is the top of a global list of prosperity – pipping juggernauts such as the USA, England, Norway, Switzerland and – rather pleasingly – Australia.

Despite 26 other countries being outright wealthier than New Zealand, we have an “unrivalled ability to turn wealth into prosperity”. Rankings on the Legatum Prosperity Index are not only limited to wealth, but also include subindexes such as freedom, health, social times, education and security, among others. According to the Index, we have the strongest society in the world, “with 99% of New Zealanders saying they can rely on family and friends in times of need.

This social strength has been proved globally to not only have a significant impact on wellbeing, but on economic growth also. New Zealand’s mighty Social Capital performance is certainly at the heart of its success.”

New Zealand has also seen improvements in Health, moving from 20th globally in 2007 to 12th in 2016. While this is a great climb on its own, the report notes that it is interesting to compare this to the UK’s performance. The two countries have similar health systems and endeavored to reform the service commissioning process in similar ways. “New Zealand’s ‘Alliance’ model, brought together not just GPs (as in the UK model of reform), but professionals from across the local healthcare sector, encompassing multiple different service providers, from the ambulance service, to local clinics, to major hospitals. ” In 2007, New Zealand ranked 20th in this sub-index and the UK 22nd. In 2016, the UK still ranks similarly at 20th, but New Zealand has climbed to 12th.

We also have a rising satisfaction in the health system, high life expectancy and falling mortality. On the contrary, The UK’s health system has seen dropping satisfaction, lower life expectancy and mortality remains higher.

However, there is still room for improvement. Our education rating has slipped seven ranks since 2007, coming from “falling human capital (captured by measures like years of education per worker). This trend is concerning as it has the potential to undermine New Zealand’s economic success and its role as a world-class place for business. If the country cannot sustain the skills base to match, then prosperity is at risk.”

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