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New Zealand ranked world’s best country for personal freedom

With the UK barely scraping in at number 10, why do we even bother living here?


It was just two weeks ago that a political analyst said that Kiwis had the world’s best government by design. And now a team of legal specialists announce that New Zealand is the best place on earth to protect your personal freedom.

The Legatum Institute in London published their annual prosperity index this week, in which it examines the track record of 142 nations with regards to all factors relating to “global wealth and wellbeing”, including health, education, safety and personal freedom among others.

In the prosperity index itself, New Zealand managed to climb to the third position, becoming the country with the highest proven track record in recent history for upwardly social mobility, examining data from the past five years.

But when looking at personal freedom in isolation, New Zealand comes dead-first, proving once more that Kiwis have a great place to call their home.


New Zealand is followed by Norway for the silver medal, which in turn is followed by our Aussie neighbours at number three. The UK only came in at number ten, with Uruguay surprisingly eclipsing it by two positions at number eight. However, gaining outstanding marks for entrepreneurship, the UK still remains a world-leader in innovation.

With the United States of America only coming in at the 21st position, the land of the free may want to reexamine its priorities when it comes to civil liberties. Other surprises on the index include Costa Rica at 15 and Trinidad and Tobago at 25.

The Legatum Institute’s methodology behind the reasoning for the personal freedom index balances personal freedoms granted by law versus personal freedoms practised and gained.



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About the author

Sertan writes, broadcasts, sings or uses whatever means may be at his disposal to share compelling stories with people. He is a chief contributor to The South African, the sister publication of the New Zealand Times. With his background in journalism Sertan has previously worked on various documentaries and news channels, and has also penned features to the Guardian and other publications.

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