The Legatum Institute in London publishes the Prosperity Index every year, which ranks the world’s countries according to a large variety of factors. Hungary ranks 45th on the 2015 index, reports.

The Institute uses a complex system to determine the countries’ ranks, considering research data and surveys, and defining prosperity based on 89 variables. These encompass not only GDP and employment rates, but factors like server security or how well-rested citizens generally feel. These variables are then grouped into 8 sub-indexes: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.

Based on these criteria, the top 5 countries of the Prosperity Index are:

1. Norway
2. Switzerland
3. Denmark
4. New-Zealand
5. Sweden

According to, Hungary ranks 45th on the list globally, which is six places lower than last year. Hungary’s highest rank is in the education sub-index, at 34th lace, while the lowest rank is in the personal freedom category at 99th place. The last sub-index experienced a striking drop from last year’s 42nd place. Hungary’s ranking in 2015 is the lowest it has been since the first Prosperity Index in 2009. The country ranked highest on the list in 2010, at 34th place. According to the index, 21.6% of the population thinks it is a good time to find a job, and 70.7% believe that business and government corruption is widespread, which is higher than the global average.

The Index also devoted special attention to the health and well-being of European citizens, and found that the Iron Curtain has created a ‘health divide’ between Western and Eastern Europe. Life expectancy and general well-being is reportedly lower in post-Communist countries, yet research shows that this data is not the consequence of the income differences. People are less satisfied with health care options, have more health issues, and are generally less happy with their lives.

Researchers suggest the changes brought about by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the consequent failure of many post-Communist countries to catch up with the rest of Europe as one of the reasons why subjective wellbeing has been incredibly low in these countries. These issues manifest most severely in countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria, Belarus and Romania. Hungary occupies the dividing line between East and West with results being less negative but still lagging behind the rest of Europe.

Check out Hungary’s profile here, or browse the full list here.


Copy editor: bm


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