BAHRAIN has been ranked the third most prosperous country in the Arab League, according to a global survey.
It is preceded only by the UAE and Qatar in the Legatum Prosperity Index, which were ranked respectively first and second among the 22 Arab states and 39th and 47th globally.
Bahrain has also climbed four places overall in the Prosperity Index, an annual ranking developed by UK-based think tank Legatum Institute.
The 11th edition of the global survey ranked Bahrain 62 from 149 countries, up from 66 in 2016.
The survey scrutinises each of the 149 countries using 104 indicators under these categories: Economic quality, business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, education, health and natural environment.
“In the Prosperity Pillar rankings, Bahrain performs best on Economic Quality and Health and scores lowest on the Personal Freedom pillar,” said the report.
“The biggest positive change, compared with last year, came in Economic Quality increasing by seven places, whereas they dropped three places on Social Capital.”
The list’s top 10 Arab countries also includes Oman, which ranked 4th, followed, respectively, by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon.
The oil-rich Scandinavian state of Norway is back at number one beating New Zealand in the overall index.
It is followed by Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Australia and the UK.
Yemen is ranked last in the report, which said that the overall prosperity in the Mena region has suffered in recent years due to security concerns including a rise in terrorism through groups like the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram.
The findings reveal that people in the region are generally dissatisfied with life, scoring low in measures of joy and sadness, and also have the worst diabetes and obesity problems in the world.
It also warns of youth unemployment in the region and states that dependence on oil for revenues will not be successful generators of overall prosperity.
Other key findings show that global prosperity now sits at its highest level — 2.6 per cent up since 2007, in spite of significant international turbulence and an alarming deterioration in global security.