It’s been reported today that the UK is ‘more prosperous’ than other EU nations, according to a report from the Legatum Institute Foundation. No sooner was the report out than the description is being trumpeted as a True Fact. What the index actually does is to mitigate the crude expectation that prosperous countries will have more money with a host of other factors: instead of GDP per capita, we have growth in GDP per capita, expectations of the economy, employment rates, civil liberties, whether it’s a good place to start up a business and a host of other factors (89 variables in all). On that basis, the Foundation claims, the UK is doing rather well. If they’d used a less sophisticated set of indicators – such as how much money we have, whether we’re better or worse off, or how unequal the society is – the state of the UK might have looked a lot worse. Look at the wee graphs produced with the World Bank’s figures and you’ll get a different picture.
This is the 500th entry on my blog.