New Zealand cited as most prosperous non-European country


New Zealand has been highlighted as the world’s most prosperous country outside of Europe in the annual Legatum Prosperity Index.

Top 10 Countries

Prosperity Index
  1. Norway
  2. Switzerland
  3. Denmark
  4. New Zealand
  5. Sweden 
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Finland
  10. Ireland

The Prosperity Index is the only global index that uses measurements based on both wealth and wellbeing. Covering 96% of the world’s population and 99% of global GDP, the index provides a more complete picture of global prosperity than any other tool of its kind.

The country has secured a position in the top five ranking of this index in terms of prosperity since 2009 showing the ongoing strength of its economy as well as the financial comfort it can offer British emigrants looking to move to New Zealand. 

When the results are broken down New Zealand ranked first in the world in social capital and particularly high in governance, education and personal freedom. New Zealand was also placed second as the most tolerant country in the world to immigrants, underlining its welcoming nature to immigration.

New life in Auckland

A big part of the family discussion on emigration centred on a better lifestyle for the children.

Dan Percival and Jackie Neville are an example of a family who can testify to the results of the survey and the positivity of immigration to New Zealand in terms of a more prosperous and contented life.

The couple emigrated from Manchester to New Zealand in 2007 with their three children then aged five, 13 and 19 and now live just outside Auckland. Their quality of life improved in terms of their home, employment and the children’s education. 

Janet says that a big part of the family discussion on emigration centred on a better lifestyle for the children. She comments; “The thought of all the space and access to sports appealed – without all the political correctness and health and safety rules gone mad that we had in England.

Neville family moves to New Zealand
Family move works out (02:53)

Dan - Hi I'm Dan and I'm from Manchester in England but now Titirangi in Auckland. Been here for about four years with Jackie and my three children and dog and cat.

I had a list that was getting longer and longer and longer of things that annoyed me about the UK. It wasn't even a serious list but it was just a list.

Canada's too cold, Australia - things eat you and it's too hot. So, New Zealand was the next natural assumption.

Sam - When I found out that we were coming to New Zealand, I was 13 years old. My mom and dad told me and I was shocked

Charlie - I felt pretty sad because I had to say goodbye to my friends and it was a very emotional time…

Jenny - I hated that idea at point, I was not very happy at all and I pretty much didn't come home for the three or four weeks before we left. I just stayed away while my mom packed. I wasn't very useful … and, I cried the whole way here…

Sam - So, I arrived here, didn't know anybody, tried to make new friends - High school was very different

Dan - Making friends is always hard but the kids - the fact that the children went to school was a real advantage because that's where we met, I'd say, most of our friends

Charlie - I had to wait a while to start because you had to be five to start in New Zealand and you had to be four to start in England

Sam - I missed a lot of friends when I came here, that was a big deal, but keeping up with friends through social networking sites like Facebook really helped me through it …

Jenny - So, I was waking up at three o'clock in the morning, and, I was like, "What is this place?" Then, we drove out to Titirangi to find a house and I kind of fell a little bit in love with the place.

Charlie -  it was raining when we got here. Then in the middle of the day it started to get better. Then, the next day it was really sunny. We don't really get that much in England

Dan -  and the big draw for New Zealand obviously is: life is supposed to be slower but I'm sure I work twice as hard and for less money, but that's okay. But it's, it's a beautiful place to come and live and your kids - can't even get shoes on Charlie, he walks to school ; I feel safe; the other kids love it;

Sam - It's beautiful, the weather is always nice compared to the UK.

Instead of going out and playing with friends on the streets, you can go out down to the beach and go for a surf, or go rock climbing, or abseil down a waterfall

Jenny - I always tell people that I think everyday I have a moment where I am like wow, is someone kidding me right now? This is actually my house. I can see the sea from my house

Dan - It's just completely different to the UK in terms of the number of people; traffic; sky; lights; stars at night; a million things that I could tell you that are different.

Jenny - I would never go back to England, this is home now and even if I went and live to another places for a little while, I'd still come back here I think. I just, this is it for me.


 “We have the kind of home we’ve always wanted but could not have afforded in England.  I love the fact that while we're still in the city, we're living out in the bush. We've got privacy and a sea view.

“It seemed just right – the scale of the country, similar climate, fantastic scenery and above all, how hospitable everyone was – even the children were impressed.”

Key selling attractions for Brits looking to move to New Zealand are the high quality of life, balanced lifestyle, the stunning scenery, temperate climate and cheaper cost of living. It also offers a solid environment for children so is ideal for families. The wide range of visas, from working visas to skilled migrant visas, means that the immigration policies are inclusive to a wide spectrum of people.    

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