New Zealand is the third most prosperous country to live in according to an international report.

The 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 142 nations on their "wealth and wellbeing" in eight categories, including health, education, safety and security, and economy.

Norway tops the list, followed by Switzerland. The lowest ranked was the Central African Republic.

New Zealand has jumped two places from last year's index and has ranked first in the Personal Freedom sub-index.

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The increase in places was put down to the result of a large increase in the country's Social Capital score, the report's publishers said.

In all eight categories, New Zealand scored in the top 20.

Our Australian neighbours also make the top 10, coming in seventh on the list and ranking first in education.

The United States is ranked 10th, and has a top score in the health sub-index.

The Legatum Prosperity Index was published by the London-based Legatum Institute, which provided research on different economic and social issues around the world.

The institute's parent company was founded by New Zealand billionaire Christopher Chandler in 2006.

Top of the list

1 - Norway

2 - Switzerland

3 - New Zealand

4 - Denmark

5 - Canada

6 - Sweden

7 - Australia

8 - Finland

9 - Netherlands

10 - United States

Rounding off the bottom

132 - Angola

133 - Guinea

134 - Sierra Leone

135 - Haiti

136 - Togo

137 - Afghanistan

138 - Yemen

139 - Burundi

140 - Democratic Republic of the Congo

141 - Chad

142 - Central African Republic