Canada ranked first for ‘personal freedom’ by annual prosperity index

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Canada takes top spot when it comes to personal freedom, according to an annual global prosperity index ranking by the Legatum Institute.

The nation moved up five spots from last year’s ranking to take the lead in the sub-index.

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“Canada has risen to first place in the personal freedom sub-index this year, reflecting high scores in measures of tolerance and civil liberties,” Legatum Institute executive director Sian Hansen states in the report’s foreword.

The report states Canada is the “freest country in the world,” and most tolerant of immigrants globally. According to the index:

  • 92 per cent of Canadians believe the country is a good place for immigrants,
  • 92 per cent of people think the country is a good place for ethnic minorities,
  • 94 per cent of Canadians believe they have the freedom to choose the course of their life.

The 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index ranks countries on eight categories: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, social capital and personal freedom.

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This year the ranking included 142 countries, with Norway taking the top spot and Central African Republic ranking last.

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Overall, Canada placed sixth in 2015’s ranking, one spot lower than in 2014. Canada ranked in the top 10 for all categories other than health (ranked 11th) as well as entrepreneurship and opportunity (ranked 15th).

The ranking measures a nation’s prosperity by not just a country’s GDP but also its citizens’ quality of life.

“The Index recognizes the need for a country to promote high levels of per capita income, but also advocates improvements in the subjective well-being of its citizens,” the report explained.

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