Canada’s global prosperity ranking slips to lowest level in 11 years: survey

MONTREAL — Canada’s prosperity ranking has slipped in 2017 to the lowest level in 11 years, according an annual index that measures several factors including wealth and well-being.

Canada now ranks No. 8 in Legatum Institute Prosperity Index, three spots below last year and the lowest level since 2007.

That’s in part due to Canadians viewing banking services as being increasingly unaffordable and people feeling less convinced that working hard will get them ahead.

Norway leads the survey while the United States fell one spot to 18th. Yemen was last in 149th spot.

Overall, the index showed that prosperity has been growing around the world and sits at the highest level since the index was first published in 2007. Still, the gap between the most and least prosperous has widened over the last five years with the 30 least prosperous countries suffering a decade-long decline.

Western Europe has marginally overtaken North America for the first time as the continent’s score fell more than any region of the world.

One factor is declining civic engagement in Canada and the U.S., with people less likely to donate money to charity or volunteering less frequently. The index also said Canadians are less open to offering informal financial help and fewer Canadians said they have relatives or friends they can count on in hard times.

Canada’s business environment slipped to fourth best. While Canada appears to have weathered the economic storm stemming from the 2008 financial crash better than the U.S., the measure for economic quality has weakened since 2012.

Canadians feel that government is doing less to counter monopolies and for the first time in 10 years, the U.S. has overtaken Canada on this measure.

The country remains No. 2 in personal freedom in terms of societal tolerance of other ethnicities and immigrants. The U.S. sits in 28th position.

It ranks No. 13 in education and 24th in health along with safety and security.

Legatum says Canada has struggled substantially with health issues over the last decade. It pointed to a nationwide fall in vaccination rates that resulted in rising incidents of preventable diseases. Canada also reported more health problems in general.

Canada’s natural environment score improved through the increased protection of land, particularly through improved air quality.