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South Africa ranked 52nd healthiest and happiest country in the world

This is according to the 11th edition of the Prosperity Index by the Legatum Institute. The Index illustrates how countries around the world have become more prosperous over the past year.

South Africa sits at number 52, having dropped four places since 2016 where it was ranked 48th.

The index includes 149 societies: 148 nations and one Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong. Norway was the top ranked country followed by New Zealand, Finland and Switzerland.

From these nations, the Legatum Institute compiled a list after looking over 104 different variables across nine major pillars including:

  • Economic Quality
  • Business Environment
  • Governance
  • Personal Freedom
  • Social Capital
  • Safety and Security
  • Education
  • Health
  • The Natural Environment

According to the Index, Mauritius sits as the happiest and most prosperous nation in Sub-Saharan Africa ranking 34th. South Africa is second followed by Botswana and Namibia.

Of the Sub-Saharan countries, South Africa is top rated for personal freedom, and ranks in the top four in areas of business environment, social capital, economic quality, natural environment and education etc but falls short in the health area. The country’s basic physical and mental health, infrastructure and preventative care ranked 121 and economic quality ranked 93rd in the world.

There was however a large improvement in the country’s business infrastructure over the last year. This includes infrastructure that enables market access for individuals and companies, transport/logistics, utilities and communications. South Africa had the highest improvement of any other country in this area. The index cited that this improvement is due to reduced electricity connection costs, increased broadband subscriptions and major improvements in the country’s logistics environment.

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