Azerbaijan improves position in Legatum Prosperity Index-2015

By: Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan, an energy-rich South Caucasus country with a population of over 9.6 million, has improved its position on the Legatum Prosperity Index for 2015.

According to a report by the Legatum independent research institute, published on its website, Azerbaijan ranked 71st among 142 countries being scored on national welfare in the 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index.

The country has improved its position by eight points, jumping from 79th place in 2014 to the 71st spot in 2015.

Azerbaijan took the 51st place on the state of the economy ranking, pulling ahead of countries such as Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and a number of European countries. The country is also ranked 68th in terms of health and 70th for entrepreneurship & opportunities.

In the categories of safety & security and social capital, Azerbaijan ranked 71st and 80th, respectively, while the country stood in 82nd place for level of education, 92nd place for personal freedom, and 94th place in terms of governance.

In general, over the last three years, Azerbaijan has improved its position in the ranking by 23 points.

This index is the best among the CIS countries (There is no data about Turkmenistan in the ranking). Over the last three years, Kyrgyzstan has improved its position by 22 points; Russia by 12; Uzbekistan, 7, and Armenia, only 5, while the positions of other CIS countries have worsened.

Scandinavian countries filled many of the top 10 spots, taking into account not only the standard macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, unemployment, and inflation but also various characteristics of the countries’ living standards. In particular, Norway ranked first; Denmark, third; and Sweden, fifth. Switzerland stood in second place and New Zealand in fourth place.

The top 10 list is completed by Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, and Ireland.

According to the methodology of the ranking, the country’s position is determined by calculating the weighted average of the nine sub-indices reflecting important components of well-being, such as key macroeconomic indicators; the quality of education and health care; the development of democratic institutions; the organization of management, business, and innovations; social capital; and personal freedom.

The Legatum Prosperity Index, published since 2006, assesses the welfare of more than 90 percent of residents around the globe.

Political and macroeconomic stability, the protection of investors’ rights, a favorable geographical location, rich natural resources, and a highly skilled workforce have turned Azerbaijan, the largest nation of the South Caucasus, into one of the fastest developing countries in the world.

Over the past 10 years, Azerbaijan has significantly improved the living standards of Azerbaijani citizens, and the country has developed rapidly.

Today, Azerbaijan is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and the government’s development strategy is aimed not only at economic growth and political stability but also at increasing human capital and improving civil society.

Thanks to the reforms enacted over the past decade, Azerbaijan has diversified its economy, social policy, oil strategy, and GDP per capita and improved the efficiency of allocation of budget revenues.

Today, Azerbaijan is modernizing its education and reforming its judiciary, infrastructure, and agriculture along with many other sectors of the economy.

Over the last 10 years, the GDP increased by 3.4 times, the non-oil sector by 2.6 times, and budget revenues by 16 times, and the volume of strategic currency reserves exceeded $50 billion. More than one million new jobs have been created during this period. The rates of poverty and unemployment have also dropped significantly among all population cohorts, including the youth.

Today, the government continues to pursue a wise and purposeful foreign policy aimed at turning Azerbaijan into a leading country across the South Caucasus and into a regional power with global plans.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS

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