LexisNexis Rule of Law Analysis Shows U.S. Ranks 19th in Long Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness

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Analysis of 98 countries against four indexes indicate that countries with strong rule of law have more success in life, liberty and happiness for citizens

The rule of law has a material impact on us all. Legal infrastructures, supported by strong rule of law, are fundamental to building peaceful and prosperous societies where citizens can enjoy long life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

To mark this year’s Independence Day in the U.S., LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a RELX Group company, today released new data analysis highlighting the relationship between rule of law and life expectancy, civil liberty, and happiness. Among 98 countries analyzed, the data indicates that the stronger a country’s rule of law, the greater it performs against measures of life expectancy, civil liberty, and happiness.

Some 241 years after the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, where’s the best country to live for long life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – as set out by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776?

The data is unambiguous. It’s Norway.

Norway ranks highest globally as the best country to live in through this lens, since Norway:

  • Is the happiest country in the World according to the 2017 World Happiness Report,
  • Has the highest Civil Liberties score from Freedom House (sharing top place with Finland and Sweden),
  • And its citizens live to an average age of 82 (Japan is top with 84).

Comparatively, the U.S. averages 19th against countries reporting all measures. While it’s sitting in 14th place for happiness (and happier than the Germans and British in 16th and 19th places), the U.S. punches below its weight in terms of life expectancy. Its citizens can expect to live an average of 78 years, which compares to 82 years across the border in Canada. U.S. freedom score of 20th place lags countries like Chile and Spain, in 11th and 13th places.

"People tend to think of the rule of law as an abstract concept but the data tells a different story,” said Steve Carroll, VP of Customer Insights at LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “The rule of law has a material impact on us all. Legal infrastructures, supported by strong rule of law, are fundamental to building peaceful and prosperous societies where citizens can enjoy long life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

For more information about LexisNexis Legal & Professional rule of law initiatives visit: https://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/rule-of-law/default.page.

LexisNexis Rule of Law Analysis Methodology
Our data science team analyzed the relationships between country Rule of Law Index scores and socio-economic indicators associated with measures of life, liberty, and happiness. This analysis uses data from the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index (https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/wjp-rule-law-index), World Bank country statistics (http://data.worldbank.org/), Civil Liberty data from Freedom House (https://freedomhouse.org/), and the World Happiness Report (http://worldhappiness.report/Report).

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help professional customers make more informed decisions, increase productivity and serve their clients better. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

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Stephanie Sommese
LexisNexis
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