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Poor health and education affect UK rating

25 October 2010

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Poor health services and education have prevented Britain from making the top 10 successful countries in the world, an international survey reveals.

Britain achieved 13th place in the Prosperity Index by London-based think tank the Legatum Institute, with Norway claiming the top spot.

The UK’s rating is being affected by poor scores in health and education, the survey of 110 countries’ well-being and economy revealed.

The survey shows that key areas of the UK’s economy, such as high levels of capital per employee and low inflation, are stable.

But the country is being held back by fears over the job market and a lack of confidence in the banking sector following the recession.

Dr Ashley Lenihan, senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, said: “Despite the recession, the UK continues to perform well on a number of important economic indicators as well as on indicators measuring entrepreneurship and opportunity and social capital, but beyond the positive headlines there are signs of weakness in some areas for the UK.

“Measurements of healthcare, domestic security, and quality of education are the areas in which the UK ranks lowest, falling outside of the global top 20 on the latter two.

“The index clearly shows that the UK’s path to future prosperity rests in its ability to be a global leader in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and in how well it tackles these barriers to continued growth.”

The Prosperity Index will be launched on Monday by Lord Mandelson, the former EU trade commissioner and former Business Secretary, in London.

Of the 110 countries covered by the survey, Britain ranks 101st on public confidence in financial institutions, 98th on optimism about job prospects and 93rd on expectations of future economic performance – the kind of ratings usually found in the world’s poorest countries, the Legatum Institute said.

The Legatum Institute takes sub-categories of economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital, issues a score for each category and produces an average, which is used for a country’s final Prosperity Index ranking.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Legatum Institute