Clyde Hutchinson’s Year of Positive Ireland. Above: Dublin's Samuel Beckett bridge.iStock

Ireland has been ranked as one of the most prosperous countries in the world, placing 10th on the 2015 Prosperity Index from the UK-based Legatum Institute.

Rising two places since last year, the Emerald Isle ranked ahead of the US (11th), Germany (14th) and the UK (15th).

In the lead were Norway (which has topped the list for seven years), Switzerland and Denmark. Countries outside of Europe that ranked high included New Zealand (fourth) and Canada (sixth).

The Prosperity Index attempts to measure prosperity around the world using criteria that goes beyond the typical economic indicators. Researchers examine 142 countries for 89 different variables, from the expected, such as GDP and growth in the economy, to the more unexpected, such as internet access, personal freedom and the support of others in times of need.

These variables are then organized into eight sub-indexes: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.

The Prosperity Index / The Legatum Institute

The Prosperity Index / The Legatum Institute

Out of the 142 countries included, Ireland ranked 18th for economy (its lowest ranking for 2015, but up from 25th last year); 18th for entrepreneurship and opportunity; 14th for governance; eights for education; 17th for health, with an average life expectancy of 81 years; fourth for safety and security; sixth for personal freedom; and 10th for social capital.

Other significant findings included 42.6% of Irish people feeling now is a good time to find a job, and 97% saying they can rely on others in times of need.

Ireland also ranked very high for tolerance, with 89% agreeing that it’s a good place for immigrants.

The Prosperity Index / The Legatum Institute

The Prosperity Index / The Legatum Institute

In other recent surveys Ireland has been ranked the third most generous country in Europe, the fifth best travel country in the world, the fifth best country for end of life care, and the top country in the world by the Good Country Index.

Do agree with Ireland’s ranking as the 10th most prosperous county in the world? What about its ranking on the other sub-indexes? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.