South Korea 25th Most Prosperous Nation In The World

The 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index has put South Korea in 25th place for overall prosperity. To see the facts in more detail, read Legatum’s Report for South Korea.

Article from Yonhap News:

Korea was ranked the 25th most prosperous country in the world. In first place was Norway, for the sixth consecutive year.


Korea has been ranked the 25th most prosperous country in the world.

On October 3rd, according to the Drudge Report, a website based in the U.S., The Legatum Institute released its 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index which rates 142 countries.

Since 2008, the Legatum institute, a think tank based in the U.K., has been ranking countries according to grades from 8 different indices such as Economy, Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Governance, Education, Personal Freedom, Health, Safety and Security, and Social Capital.

According to the publication, based on data collected in 2013, Korea ranked 5th among Asian countries. It’s ranking among all world countries was 25th, trailing Singapore (18th), Japan (19th), and Hong Kong (20th).

Korea’s ranking was one spot higher than last year’s index. Korea previously highest rank was 24th in the 2011 [Legatum Prosperity Index.]

Korea has ranked in the top 30 in 6 sub-indices. However, Korea ranked in the mid-range for personal freedom (59th) and social capital (69th). Social capital refers to cooperation or networking among community members.

Korea’s top two sub-indices are Economy (9th) and Education (15th).

When people were asked whether they are satisfied with the standard of living, 72.2% of them said “yes,” which was higher than the world average of 59.4%.

However, when asked about freedom of choice and whether where they live is good for immigrants, only 64-65% of people said yes, which was slightly lower than the world average.

When Koreans were asked if they had ever helped a stranger, the “yes” response was 5% lower than the world average of 48.9%.

Norway, which ranked in the top 5 in five sub-categories, has remained in its top position for the sixth year in a row, since 2009.

Switzerland ranked 2nd for the second year in a row, and New Zealand, leading in the Governance and Personal Freedom index, came in 3rd.

[New Zealand] is followed by Denmark, Canada, Sweden, Australia and The Netherlands. The U.S. ranked 10th.

So far, the U.S. hasn’t yet ranked within the top 10.

African countries, including The Central African Republic, Chad, (the People’s Republic of) Congo, Burundi, and others were found to be the least prosperous countries.

The national income per person in Luxemburg was 86,442 USD, 148 times higher than that of The Central African Republic at 584 USD per person.

In the Life Satisfaction index, Canada averages 7.6 out of 10 points, but Syria, struggling with poverty due to civil war, recorded only 2.7 points.

Comments from Naver:


A happy country seems better than a rich country.


Korea is top-ranking in suicide rates and rate of aging population.


Life satisfaction is completely personal. Countries in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia show higher levels of happiness than Korea does. There’s a right and wrong aspect to this. Though Southeast Asian countries are poor, neighbors are kind to each other. They don’t need to worry about what to eat since there are three harvests a year. This is unlike Korea where people have to work to death just to make ends meet. So people from Southeast Asia are poor, but not stressed out. They smile all the time. On the contrary when I lived in Japan, people had to work and study hard for a living, just like in Korea. They are always pessimistic and there are so many homeless people. What I mean to say is that even if the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index ranking was in the order of Japan-Korea-Southeast Asia, people’s happiness is another issue.


Is the phrase “if one has a lot of money” missing after “a good country to live in”?


Though it is hard to compare Australia and Korea, in Australia, no matter how much you need to pay to the hospital, it is 100% paid by the Australian government. In Australia, people who are registered as unemployed can get 1.6 million won in monthly allowance. There is also a widow allowance for widows, a child allowance when someone has a newborn, a students’ allowance called Austudy that is more than enough for pocket money, a single mother’s allowance for child support, a housing allowance for those with no home that gets a decent house, and even a pension that pays about 1.8 million won monthly to those older than 65 irregardless if they worked from a young age or no. These systems are different from those in Korea where people without money will die. The situation in Korea like the three family members killing themselves due to poverty, and the old collecting waste paper from the street can’t happen in Australia. The problem here is the social system and the distribution of wealth.


Does it make sense that Korea’s suicide rate is number 1 in the world but Korea ranked 25th in prosperity…


For rich people it is 25th, and for ordinary people it is 125th. Korea reduces taxes for rich people, and increases taxes for ordinary people, ke ke ke.


Who the heck did they survey? How is it possible for Korea to rank as high as 25th?


Korea is a good country to live once you have money. But the fact is most people don’t have enough money.


It should be 125th, not 25th. Where did they do the survey, did they ask employees out in front of a Samsung building?


6th in the Economic index, ke ke, even when people kill themselves over debt.


Korea is just the right place for the rich. You can get food delivered night and day, and if you can live in a high-rise building, you can enjoy the great view.


Who was surveyed? Low income, high taxes, lots of overtime work, high prices.. So hard to raise a child, but Korea ranked 25th?


If you have lots of money, you would rank Korea within the top five as a good place to live. No need to worry about being killed by a gun.


For the rich, Korea isn’t 25th but 1st. For the poor, Korea isn’t 25th but 50th.

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