The prosperity, measured by the Sri Lanka Prosperity Index (SLPI), which is a composite indicator that measures and compares the level of prosperity of the country and across its provinces, has improved to 0.864 in 2015 from 0.804 in the previous year.
Analysing the movements in the 2014 to 2015 period, the SLPI improved along with improvements in the Economy and Business Climate and Well-being of the People sub-indices, while there is a moderation in the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index.
The improvements in the per capita gross domestic product, informal sector wages, industrial density and banking density have contributed towards the enhancement of the Economy and Business Climate sub-index.
With regard to the sub-index of Well-being of the People, the improvements were mainly due to the high performance in the availability of healthcare facilities, availability and quality of education, wealth of people and availability and usage of entertainment facilities.
The moderation of the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index was led by the moderate levels of government expenditure for road development and availability of transport facilities as a whole.
However, the aspects of availability of electricity, telecommunication facilities and crime-free environment of Sri Lanka have shown marginal improvements within the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index during the 2014 to 2015 period.
The SLPI and all its sub-indices demonstrate the increasing trends over the last five years. While the Well-being of the People sub-index trends smoothly to reflect the improvements, the trends in the SLPI and the other two sub-indices reflect some moderation in recent years. During the period 2014 to 2015, the Well-being of the People sub-index has increased faster than the Economy and Business Climate sub-index and Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index.
Continuing the recent trends in prosperity, the Western Province is leading with the highest value of overall provincial index of 1.275, driven mainly by the maintenance of higher standards in the Economic and Business Climate sub-index. The Southern Province managed to maintain its second position in 2015 with the highest contribution coming from the Well-being of People sub-index. The improvement in rank by three positions in the North Central Province was noticeable in 2015 due to the improvements in all three sub-indices. In the Central, North Western and Northern Provinces, which are at fourth, fifth and sixth positions, respectively, changes in the rank by a single position could be observed due to the relative performance of the sub-indices compared against the other provinces. In the Sabaragamuwa, Uva and Northern Provinces, despite the increases in the index values, the relative ranking positions remained unaffected in 2015. The performance of the provinces is detailed in Figure 2 and Table 2.
Economy and Business Climate sub-index
Analysing the movements in the Economic and Business Climate sub-index, with respect to the provincial performances, the Western Province retained its foremost position followed by the Central and North Western Provinces. Higher standards observed in the aspects of living standard, poverty, price stability, formal sector employment and industrial density are among the main drivers of the high performance of the Western Province.
While the other provinces have either remained unchanged or improved their positions, a change in rank by three positions is observed in the Northern Province due to the low performance in areas of living standard, poverty and industrial density, compared to the other provinces in 2015. The performance of the provinces within the Economic and Business Climate sub-index are detailed in Figure 3 and Table 2.
Well-being of People sub-index
The Well-being of the People sub-index of the Western Province retained its foremost position while the Southern Province managed to safeguard its ranking as the second best performer. The index of Western Province was enhanced compared to the other provinces primarily because of the positive impact from the areas of availability of education facilities, quality of available education facilities, wealth and availability and usage of entertainment facilities.
The Northern Province being an exception, the rankings of all the other provinces did not vary significantly even with the increases in the index points. The performance of the Northern Province within the Well-being of People sub-index was moderated by the aspects of availability of education facilities, wealth and availability and usage of entertainment facilities, compared to the other provinces in 2015. The performance of the provinces within the Well-being of the People sub-index is detailed in Figure 4 and Table 2.
Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index
The Western Province retained its highest contribution to the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index among all the provinces. The higher levels in the availability of electricity, telecommunication facilities, road coverage, transport facilities and information and communication technology (ICT) facilities contributed to the leading performance in the Western Province. The Southern and Uva Provinces have significant improvements while those of the Central and North Western Provinces have declined in provincial positions in this sub-index. The sub-index value of the Eastern Province has become slightly negative in 2015 owing to comparatively low levels of availability of electricity, telecommunication, transport and sanitation facilities. The performance of the provinces within the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index is detailed in Figure 5 and Table 2.