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Finland has the best governance in the world, states the Legatum Institute in its latest global prosperity index.


The Legatum Institute is an international think-tank and educational charity that focuses on measuring, understanding and explaining the journey from poverty to prosperity for individuals, communities and nations.

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Finland's ranking across the nine pillars of prosperity. Illustration: The Legatum Institute

Finland’s ranking across the nine pillars of prosperity. Illustration: The Legatum Institute

According to the institute, the governance plays a major role in creating and sustaining prosperity. “Our observation is that institutions can guarantee order, but not the outcome. Institutions are open to both use and abuse, depending upon the national character reflected in the people leading them,” the charity explains in the report. “Put another way, the benefit provided, or harm inflicted, by national institutions is in direct proportion to the virtues of their leadership.”

Finland ranks third in the Legatum Prosperity Index. The index covers 149 countries, making it a unique global benchmarking tool. Illustration: The Legatum Institute

Finland ranks third in the Legatum Prosperity Index. The index covers 149 countries, making it a unique global benchmarking tool. Illustration: The Legatum Institute

When measuring countries’ wealth and wellbeing across nine pillars, Finland ranks third. New Zealand takes the first place and Norway the second. Sweden is in the eight place.

In addition to governance, the other pillars measure performance in economics, business, health, safety, freedom, social capital and natural environment. Finland scores second place in the sub-indexes of natural environment and third in education while scoring lowest in health index.

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The Legatum Institute praises Finland’s ability to turn wealth into rising prosperity, which has risen over the past decade despite the rapidly declining wealth.



A nation’s prosperity has traditionally been measured by macroeconomic indicators of wealth such as average income per person or GDP per capita. In moving “beyond GDP” to cover both wealth and wellbeing—and not just one or the other—the Prosperity Index faces challenges that the Legatum Institute has striven over the past decade to meet with academic and analytical rigor.

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