New Zealand ranks fifth in world's most prosperous nation to live in, based on the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index. The international report contains the rankings of 142 nations in terms of wealth and well-being.
New Zealand has dropped two places from the list since 2009, but its rank still makes it one of the best in the world. The 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index evaluates nations in eight categories, including education, health, economy, safety and security. New Zealand did well in all categories and consistently appeared in the Top 20 which made it fifth in overall rankings.
According to the recent world prosperity report, New Zealand has slipped to 15th from 8th place in the safety and security category due to "increases in demographic pressures, human immigration and group grievances."
The London-based Legatum Institute is the publisher of the Legatum Prosperity Index. The institute provides research on various social and economic issues affecting the world. Kiwi billionaire Christopher Chandler founded the Legatum Institute's parent company in 2006.
The most prosperous nation to live in based on the prosperity index is Norway. The country continues to be on top of the list for the fifth consecutive year. Switzerland is on second place, followed by Canada in third. Sweden is fourth in the list.
The United States is ranked 11th out of 142 nations.
Legatum Institute head Jeffrey Gedmin said the world has seen a steady rise in prosperity over the past five years with countries improving wealth.
New Zealand's ranking is not surprising, considering the IMF predicted in its World Economic Outlook report that the country will enjoy strong economic growth in 2014.
The IMF has forecast the economic growth rate of New Zealand in 2013 at 2.5 per cent. Among the 35 advanced economies listed by the IMF, only Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea were tipped to have a stronger growth rate than New Zealand. According to the World Economic Outlook report, the average growth for advanced economies was pegged at 2 per cent in 2013.
The growth rate is expected to reach 2.9 per cent in 2014 based on IMF estimates. The figure is also expected to be exceeded by New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan which will raise the average growth for advanced economies to 2 per cent.