Perhaps you are looking to move across the world and want to know which country offers the best lifestyle? Alternatively, maybe you are happy staying put but want to learn from other countries that have increased their level of prosperity.
No matter the reason, when discussing prosperity in the world, you have to take a look at Northern Europe and specifically, Norway which is known for its steady, high levels of success.
To learn more about what sets this Nordic country apart, keep reading for three things to know about the Norwegians’ consistent prosperity.
1. Norway is the number one most prosperous country in the world.
Among the 149 countries included in the global 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index, Norway takes the top spot. To create the list, the index takes nine pillars (Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health, and the Natural Environment) and ranks each country based on the individual pillars.
Norway’s high score comes from it having the most exceptional level of safety and security in the world, as well as appearing in the top 10 for all but one pillar.
When it comes to the individual pillars, Norway performs at the highest level in safety and security and social capital. Interestingly, its lowest pillar score comes for its business environment. Since 2017, Norway’s most considerable increase came in the Safety and Security pillar where it raised its position by 16 places. On the other hand, the country dropped three spots in the health rankings.
2. The Nordic model is one of social democracy.
For a long time, the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland) have been touted as model social democracies with their citizens experiencing some of the highest living standards in the world.
Even a United Nations World Happiness Report lists these countries at the top of categories such as life expectancy, the observed freedom to make life decisions, and independence from corruption.
Generally, when it comes to prosperity, countries that follow the Nordic model perform well in terms of governance, economic quality, and safety and security, as well as better health and natural environment conditions when compared to other countries. More importantly, these countries continue to improve in all of these areas every year.
3. Nordic markets are becoming far more open and dynamic.
As mentioned earlier, Norway’s lowest pillar score appears as a result of its business environment performance. The Nordic economic model is one that provides minimal barriers to free trade, advocates private ownership and supports socially egalitarian outcomes – all of which are coupled with a liberal welfare state.
However, Anglosphere nations (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom) lead the Nordic states in terms of the Business Environment pillar due to their citizens’ ability to access credit easily, get businesses started quickly, and deal with a more flexible labor market.
For this reason, over the past five years, the per capita GDP growth in the Anglosphere bloc has been more accelerated than in the Nordics’. Additionally, there is a higher proportion of adults employed in the labor market in the Anglosphere nations.
In order to continue enjoying their high levels of prosperity, the Nordic countries are continuing to open themselves up to more enterprises which is quite akin to the Anglosphere model. The capital cities of Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen are producing more and more high-earning companies with the Swedes being the most skilled at finding innovative business opportunities.
Over the past couple of years, the Nordics have received a higher score in terms of anti-monopoly policy as their markets continue to become far more open and dynamic – a necessity for a sustainable and thriving economy.
What do you think of the Nordic model for prosperity? Do you think it is a sustainable strategy or do you think that the Anglosphere nations have a better system?
Only time will tell which model will prevail, but it is essential that policymakers and world leaders learn about what works and what doesn’t for this information to benefit their own countries as well.