Denmark world’s fourth most prosperous nation

Denmark has been ranked the world's fourth most prosperous nation in a new international study released on Monday.

Denmark world's fourth most prosperous nation
Denmark improved in several categories and moved up two overall spots. Photo: Colourbox
Legatum Institute's 2014 Prosperity Index ranked Denmark as the fourth most prosperous country in the world, trailing only Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand. 
The rankings are based on eight variables of a country's prosperity performance:
• Economy
• Entrepreneurship
• Governance
• Education
• Personal freedom
• Health
• Security
• Social capital
Denmark’s best performance was in the entrepreneurship and opportunity index, where it ranked second behind only neighbouring Sweden. The study pointed to the country’s low business start-up costs, estimated at just 0.2 percent of gross national income.  Denmark’s worst performance came in the economy index, ranking 18th. 
The fourth place ranking was two spots better than last year, but two spots below the second place ranking achieved every year between 2009-2012. 
“Denmark has seen some good improvements in economy, entrepreneurship, education and social capital. In particular, it improved five places in the economy category and in entrepreneurship there was also improvement, just not enough to move up from number two,” Novella Bottini, an economist at the Legatum Institute, told The Local. 
According to the study, 96 percent of Danes say they can rely on others in times of need and 84.3 percent feel that Denmark is a good place to live for immigrants. The number in the latter category has been on the decline. 
“You can see a decreasing trend in the last three years – it was 89 percent in 2011 and now it is 84 percent, so you could say that situation seems to be getting worse,” Bottini said. 
Just 13.9 percent of Danes thought corruption in business and government  was widespread. In the Central African Republic, the least prosperous country in the world according to the study, that number is at 75 percent.
The study, now in its eighth year, offers a unique insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world.
The index takes into account 142 countries, representing more than 96 percent of the world’s population and 99 percent of global GDP.
Prosperity Index: Top 20
2 Switzerland
3 New Zealand
4 Denmark
5 Canada
6 Sweden
7 Australia
8 Finland
9 Netherlands
10 United States
11 Iceland
12 Ireland
13 United Kingdom
14 Germany
15 Austria
16 Luxembourg
17 Belgium
18 Singapore
19 Japan
20 Hong Kong
France was just outside the Top 20 in 21st place, Spain was 26th and Italy was The Local's poorest performing country in 37th place.

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Danish uni upwardly mobile on Young University Rankings

Aalborg University climbed eight places as Times Higher Education (THE) announced its Young University Rankings list Wednesday.

Danish uni upwardly mobile on Young University Rankings
Photo: Aalborg Universitet

Moving from a position of 31st in last year’s table to 23rd on the new list, Aalborg University (AAU) is described by THE as “providing students with academic excellence, cultural engagement and personal development since its inception in 1974.”

The university – which also has campuses in Copenhagen and Esbjerg – is also placed in the 201-250th range in the Times Higher Education list for all international universities, which was released last year.

Aalborg itself was voted the happiest city in Europe in 2016.

AAU’s rector Per Michael Johansen The Local that the new ranking was a “huge pat on the back” for all involved at the university.

“We have talented researchers and colleagues and it is clear that a high placing on a well-regarding ranking like this makes us more recognisable and therefore able to attract talented international researchers,” Johansen said.

The Times Higher Education 200 Under 50 Rankings 2017 applies the same 13 performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings. These indicators are recalibrated to reflect the missions of younger, more dynamic institutions and grouped into five areas: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

READ ALSO: Uni of Copenhagen ‘second best in Continental Europe’

“It is no easy task to appear in the 2017 Young University Rankings, which use the same 13 rigorous and demanding performance indicators as the overall World University Rankings. Institutions must demonstrate high standards of performance across teaching, research, international outlook and knowledge transfer,” said Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings, via a press release.

The ranking, published for the sixth year, includes 200 institutions for the first time, expanded from 150 (formally known as Times higher Education 150 Under 50).

A total of 48 countries are represented on the list.

Johansen said that although it is an extremely long process for a university to build up a world-class reputation, the progress made by AAU on the list was evidence that the university was doing things in the right way.

“A wise man once said that if you want to make your city famous, you should build a university and then wait 200 years. It takes an extremely long time to build up prestigious reputations. When you consider that Denmark’s oldest university was founded in 1479, I think the progress we have made in just 43 years is quite excellent,” he said.

Universities under 50 years old are exciting, dynamic institutions, often located outside the traditional strongholds of the US and UK, according to Times Higher Education.

Germany has 11 institutions in the ranking including five in the top 30, and Asia also performs well with institutions from Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea taking five places in the top ten.

In addition to Aalborg, Roskilde University also made it on to the list, ranked in the 101-150 section.

The full THE Young University Ranking list can be found here.