The Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI) offers unique insights into how prosperity is changing across the world. The LPI defines prosperity “as more than just the accumulation of material wealth, but also as the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future.” The Legatum Institute is a London-based think-tank with a global vision: to see all people lifted out of poverty (https://www.prosperity.com/).
The LPI contains data on 149 countries, for 89 variables, spread across nine dimensions of national well-being: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Education, Health, Safety & Security, Personal Freedom, Social Capital and Natural Environment.
Singapore led the major ASEAN countries in the overall prosperity index rankings. It ranked 21st in the world. It was followed by Malaysia, 44th, and Indonesia, 49th. The Philippines, 62nd, ranked fourth. Thailand, 74th, was next and finally, Vietnam, 81st.
Based on the latest rankings, with the exception of outlier Singapore, the Philippines landed 62nd among the major ASEAN countries. It placed last on economic quality, business environment, health, and safety and security. It rated well on personal freedom and natural environment.
Indonesia did very well on social capital and ranked a distant 2nd (after Singapore) on safety and security.
Malaysia performed best on economic quality and business environment, governance, education, health and natural environment. It scored lowest on the personal freedom pillar.
While Singapore led in many of the pillars. It rated low on personal freedom.
Thailand scored high on health and economic quality, but low on governance and personal freedom.
Vietnam performed best on economic quality and education but scored low on personal freedom and governance.
Since the Index began in 2007, the Philippines has moved up the rankings table by 11 places, Vietnam by seven places, and Indonesia by 28 places. By contrast, Malaysia was down eight places and Thailand, 21 places.
If the Philippines wishes to belong to the upper third (No. 50) of the 149 economies, the country has to improve on six of the nine pillars. Long way to go.
This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines or the MAP.
Rolando T. Dy is the Co-Vice Chair of the MAP AgriBusiness Committee and the Executive Director of the Center for Food and AgriBusiness of the University of Asia & the Pacific.