Singapore economy tops key sub-index

Tourists walking along the path on the waterfront promenade along Marina Bay Sands with the SBD skyline in the background.
Tourists walking along the path on the waterfront promenade along Marina Bay Sands with the SBD skyline in the background.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Singapore's economy topped a list of 142 countries in an annual global prosperity sub-index released by the Legatum Institute yesterday, on the strength of its export market and productivity rate.

The Republic dislodged Switzerland to grab the top spot this year in the economy category of the Prosperity Index, which classified 47 per cent of its manufactured exports as "high-tech", the third highest in the world.

Singapore scored 2.601, placing 17th in the overall list, which ranks countries on the basis of the quality of their education, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.

The index found Singapore to have the second-highest capital per worker in the world at US$240,750 (S$337,290), behind Luxembourg.

It stood 12th in entrepreneurship and opportunity as well as safety and security, 13th in governance, 14th in health, 15th in education and 25th in social capital. Its worst-performing index was personal freedom, in which the Republic stood at 38th, according to the institute.

  • WHERE S'PORE STANDS

  • OVERALL: 17

    ECONOMY: 1

    CAPITAL PER WORKER: 2

    ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY: 12

    SAFETY AND SECURITY: 12

    GOVERNANCE: 13

    HEALTH: 14

    EDUCATION: 15

    SOCIAL CAPITAL: 25

    PERSONAL FREEDOM: 38

Norway topped the overall index, ranking among the top 10 in all sub-indexes although not topping any one of them. Canada was tops in personal freedom while Britain was the world leader in enterprise.

Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Iceland and Ireland rounded up the top five in being the most tolerant towards immigrants.

Among Asean nations, Malaysia came in next highest after Singapore, ranking 44th overall followed by Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Indonesia climbed up 21 places in the last seven years - the most by any country in the world, to rank 69th overall.

Legatum, which first published the index in 2007, said on its website that the purpose of the index is "to spark debate and to encourage policymakers, scholars, the media, and the interested public to take a holistic view of prosperity and to better understand how it is created".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2015, with the headline 'Singapore economy tops key sub-index'. Print Edition | Subscribe