What is the Index?

The measurement of prosperity is an important task for all leaders, and for those who hold them to account. It is the real test of whether a nation, state, or community is truly fulfilling the potential of its people, in terms of both their productive capacity and their collective wellbeing, creating an environment where a person is able to reach their full potential and achieve their dream.

Drawing upon the Legatum Institute’s expertise of producing the global Prosperity Index for over a decade and informed by the expertise of 40 U.S. advisors from across academia, research institutions, and think tanks, 215 indicators were taken from more than 80 data sources to construct the Index, as set out in the infographic below, which was first released in 2019.

The comprehensive set of curated indicators, at the state and county levels, forms a rich and policy-focused dataset, allowing the potential of all states (and all counties in 12 selected states) to be identified and understood. This enables much more targeted policy responses that can drive tangible improvements in prosperity.

The Index is intended for national, state, and local governments, business leaders, investors, philanthropists, and civil society leaders across the U.S. who can use the Index to help set their agendas for growth and development, and that others will use it to hold them to account.

Angel Diagram

Further detail of the underpinning structure of the Index can be found in the Methodology report, available in the Downloads section.

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