By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
Bulgaria ranks 48th globally out of 142 countries in the Legatum Institute’s 2014 Prosperity Index, having risen one place since 2013.
The index defines prosperity as a combination of wealth and well-being and ranks countries according to a number of sub-indices – economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom and social capital.
Bulgaria’s best performance is in the safety and security sub-index, where it ranks 33rd in 2014.
Bulgaria’s lowest rank is in the social capital sub-index, where it ranks 87th in 2014.
Overall, in 2009, Bulgaria ranked 47th, 46th in 2010, 48th in 2011, 48th in 2012 (when 32 new countries were added to the index), and 49th in 2013.
In the 2014 report, the index recorded business startup costs in Bulgaria as one per cent of GNI per capita.
The report said that in Bulgaria, just 6.8 per cent of people thought that it was a good time to find a job.
About 82.8 per cent said that they could rely on others in time of need, 62.7 per cent thought Bulgaria was a good place for immigrants, the teacher-pupil ratio was 1:17 and 78.7 per cent believed that business/government corruption was widespread.
In the Legatum Institute Prosperity Index for 2014, Bulgaria did better than a number of other nearby countries.
Croatia came in 50th, Greece 59th, Romania 60th, Montenegro 65th, Russia 68th, FYRO Macedonia 69th, Serbia 77th, Turkey 86th, Moldova 89th and Bosnia 91st.
In the top three places of the rankings in 2014 were Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand, respectively.
In bottom place, at 142nd, was the Central African Republic.
The Legatum Index, in regional reports, said that “more of Europe is going economically backward than forward”.
“Of the 33 European countries in our Index for which we have six years of data, only eight have risen up the rankings on the Economy sub-index since 2009, while 25 have fallen. Greece is the biggest faller, dropping 57 places in six years.”
Eastern Europe is struggling to match the levels of Governance, Personal Freedom, and Social Capital of Western Europe. However, the two halves of the continent do not diff er greatly in terms of Education and Health, the institute said.
Legatum is a private, United Arab Emirates-based, investment organisation and thinktank. Its headquarters are in Dubai International Financial Centre.
Legatum was founded in the United Arab Emirates in December 2006 by the chairman of Legatum Global Holdings, Christopher Chandler, formerly president of the holding company for the Sovereign Global group of companies, which he co-founded with his older brother, businessman Richard Chandler, in 1986.
From 1986 to 2006, Sovereign provided capital to companies and governments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and to industries including telecommunications, electric utilities, steel, oil and gas, banking and oil refining.