Best national economies in the world have average of 4 million people, WEF find 


Most successful economies have smaller populations than Scotland, economists conclude 

THE BEST ECONOMIES in the world are medium or small in population size, a new report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found.

The WEF ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’ ranked countries on their “inclusive, advanced economies” – essentially how well they functioned for the financial wellbeing of national populations.

On average, the top countries have a population of just under 4 million people – providing further information that bigger doesn’t mean better in terms of global economic performance. 

Norway (with almost an identical population to Scotland) topped the list, followed by Luxembourg, Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark.

“Norway tops the IDI, with high and rising living standards, effective social protection and low inequality.” WEF 

All five of the top ranked countries have populations below nine million – with two of the world’s smallest countries found to be the most successful.

WEF, commenting on the ranking, said: “The World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Development Index (IDI) ranks the world’s advanced and developing economies based on their performance against key performance indicators ranging from poverty, inequality to public debt and environmental factors.”

“Norway tops the IDI, with high and rising living standards, effective social protection and low inequality. There is a high degree of social mobility, low unemployment and a large share of women participate in the labour force, helped by sound parental leave policies and affordable childcare.

“Luxembourg and Switzerland come in second and third place in a top 10 dominated by Northern Europe. This is driven by robust growth and employment, high median living standards, strong environmental stewardship and low public debt.”

Out of 29 advanced economies, the UK was placed 21st on the list with the United States placed 23rd. 

Picture courtesy of Alexander Shchukin

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