Click for the 2013 Legatum Prosperity IndexThis morning, after spotting Allister Heath’s boldly optimistic article for the Telegraph, I chaired the Parliamentary launch of the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index.

It’s not enough to consider quality of life by material things alone: Gross Domestic Product neglects great swathes of factors which make life worth living. As the Legatum Institute explains:

Traditionally, a nation’s prosperity has been based solely on macroeconomic indicators such as a country’s income, represented either by GDP or by average income per person (GDP per capita). However, most people would agree that prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future. The Prosperity Index is distinctive in that it is the only global measurement of prosperity based on both income and wellbeing.

The launch of this year’s Prosperity Index is a good moment to step back and reflect that, despite the many real problems which consume the attention of the public, the papers and politicians, our country is one of the best places to live in the world. We are 16th of 142 ranked countries.

A vast wealth of data and commentary is available from the website. The Index may be obtained as a PDF here and the key findings are here. I know I must work hard to promote prosperity in the UK and Wycombe but I am encouraged that we start from a high base.

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