- By Kim Jarrett | The Center Square contributor/July 29th, 2021
(The Center Square) – New York received high rankings for its business environment and natural environment, according to the latest United States Prosperity Index from the London-based think-tank Legatum Institute, and came in 15th overall.
The report compiled by 40 authors ranks the U.S., the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 11 measures – natural environment, education, health, living conditions, economic quality, infrastructure, business environment, social capital, governance, personal freedom and safety and security. New York ranked 13th in 2020 and 8th in 2011.
The natural environment ranking considers emission rates, exposure to air pollution the state’s forest land and soil, freshwater and preservation.
“(New York) has the lowest rate of emissions of all but one state and the quality of its forest, land and soil and the quality of its freshwater is among the best of all states,” said Shaun Flanagan, director of impact and partnerships at the Legatum Institute and lead author of the United States Prosperity Index.
New York was ranked 44th in the social capital category with “measures how cohesive a society is in terms of people trusting, respecting and helping one another and the institutional structure they interact with,” Flanagan said.
“Although personal and family relationships have improved since 2010, social networks have weakened, as it has in most other states, with just over one in two people frequently talking with neighbors,” Flanagan said. Trust in institutions has also deteriorated. The extent to which people engage in society has improved slightly since 2011. The number of hours people volunteer, on average, in the state is the 5th highest of all states, but the rate of people volunteering is low as is the extent to which people get involved in religious and non-religious organizations.”
New York is one of 12 states with information available on its 67 counties.
“The county-level index has been designed to mirror the state-level index as closely as possible, so they can work hand in hand in informing decision-making at the different geographical levels,” the authors said in the report.
The U.S. is one of the most prosperous nations in the world, ranking 18th out 167 countries, the report noted.
“It has a particularly strong and open economy, ranking 4th in the world for enterprise conditions and 10th for investment environment,” according to the report.
The pandemic weakened the U.S. economy but it will bounce back, according to wrote Dr. Stephen Brien, director of policy for the Legatum Institue in the report’s forward.
“Its high global ranking and the long-term improvement across many aspects of U.S society will provide a strong foundation upon which to reset and rebuild as it emerges from these challenging times,” Brien wrote.
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