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Thu, 08 Nov 2012 21:15:00 GMT | By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
The world’s most prosperous nations

5. New Zealand

The Auckland, New Zealand, skyline. (© Getty Images)
  • businessmen (© Getty Images)
  • The Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin, Ireland. (© Getty Images)
  • Murten, Switzerland (© Getty Images)
  • Bicycles parked on bridge over canal at night with the tower of Westerkerk church in the Netherlands. (© Trish Punch/Getty Images)
  • Aleksanterinkatu street in Helsinki, Finland. (© Getty Images)
  • Skyline of Calgary, Alberta. (© Getty Images)
  • The Auckland, New Zealand, skyline. (© Getty Images)
  • Woman at the beach in Australia. (© Getty Images)
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5. New Zealand

Last year’s rank: 4

New Zealand’s economy is ranked just 27th in the world (down from 17th as recently as 2010), lower than countries such as France, Belgium and the U.K. But perhaps the Kiwis are smarter than the rest of us. Literally. According to the Legatum Institute, New Zealand has the finest education system in the world, a distinction it’s held twice in the last three years.

* Bing: What is the average salary in New Zealand?

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