Australia is the world’s most creative country, according to a new global study.
The Global Creativity Index by the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto is a measure for advanced economic growth, competitiveness and sustainable prosperity.
This year, it ranked 139 nations worldwide on “three Ts” as measures of economic development — talent, technology, and tolerance.
Australia was first in the index, improving on its number five ranking in 2011, replacing Sweden which slid from first to seventh place.
The United States followed closely behind Australia, with New Zealand and Canada taking third and fourth place respectively.
The creative class, comprising more than forty percent of the workforce amongst advanced nations, includes scientists, technologists, artists, media workers as well as business and healthcare professionals.
According to the report, creativity “differs in fundamental ways from the traditional, tangible factors of production”.
“It is not a stock of things that can be depleted or worn out, but an infinitely renewable resource that can be continually replenished and deepened,” the report says.
As Australia’s economy transitions out of traditional structures to a more service-based economy, progress and innovation will “stem from diversity and openness to talented people across the board.”
The results found Australia to be a leader on talent, or human capital, which is a primary driver of economic growth along with technology.
While Australia did feature in the top ten for tolerance, other countries such as Canada and Iceland scored higher in this category suggesting there is room for improvement. The report says “places that are open to different kinds of people gain an edge in both attracting talent from across the spectrum and mobilizing new ideas”. In particular this involves openness to ethnic and religious minorities and openness to gay and lesbian people.
Countries that scored highly on the index were seen as having higher levels of productivity — as measured by economic output per person and GDP per capita — as well as competitiveness and overall human development.
One of the significant challenges for Australia’s economy is establishing new drivers of economic growth with investment in the large mining sector rapidly diminishing amid falling demand from China. So these are encouraging findings.
There was a a strong correlation between creativity and entrepreneurship with startup companies powering the rise of new industries.
Here’s the full list.