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Today we launch the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index™ (www.prosperity.com), the Legatum Institute’s unique annual assessment of global prosperity based on both material wealth and personal wellbeing. The Prosperity Index benchmarks countries in eight categories: Economy; Education; Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Health; Personal Freedom; Safety & Security; and Social Capital.

See highlights from this morning’s news coverage: The Wall Street JournalBloombergThe Daily Telegraph

Key findings of the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index:

  • US drops out of global prosperity ‘top ten’ for the first time, and falls eight places in ‘Entrepreneurship & Opportunity’ sub-index.
  • Fewer US citizens agree that working hard results in success.
  • Asian ‘Tiger Cub’ countries climbing Index rankings quickly.
  • European Economy score drops as Euro crisis continues.
  • Scandinavian countries lead worldwide prosperity rankings.

Legatum Prosperity Index redraws world map, grouping new continents together according to shared attributes between nations. 

Full press materials, including regional press releases and accompanying graphics and videos are available on the Legatum Prosperity Index website.

As the race for the White House reaches fever pitch, the latest findings from the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index reveal that the American Dream is in jeopardy. In an unprecedented fall, America drops to twelfth position in the worldwide prosperity rankings – with weakening performance across five of the Index’s eight sub-categories.

Meanwhile, Scandinavian countries prosper most, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden topping the overall Index (first, second and third). A new generation of Asian ‘Tiger Cubs’ has also emerged, with Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia all scaling the rankings.

In Europe, overall prosperity has increased, with the Netherlands, Ireland  and Germany climbing the rankings (now eighth, tenth and 14th respectively). However, more than two thirds (24 out of 33) of European countries have seen their Economy score decline since 2009.

Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of the Legatum Institute, said: “The Legatum Prosperity Index allows us to paint a comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of wellbeing – from how safe they feel, to their perceived personal freedom. GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity.”

This year, the Legatum Prosperity Index has for the first time redrawn the world map, pulling nations into six new continents based on shared attributes. Click here to see the new world map, or watch the brief video:

To see the overall rankings, sub-index scores and to compare countries and years, please visit: www.prosperity.com