Britain has failed to make the world's top 10 successful countries because of poor education and health services, according to an international survey of wealth and happiness.
The Prosperity Index by the Legatum Institute, a think tank based in London, crowns Norway in first place, with Britain lagging behind in 13th.
The group said the survey of economy and well-being among 110 counties revealed mediocre scores in health and education were holding the UK back. Key areas of the UK economy are sound, with low inflation and high levels of capital per worker, according to the think tank.
But it said a loss of public confidence in financial institutions since the banking crisis and deep gloom over job prospects is undermining the country's performance.
Dr Ashley Lenihan, senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, said: "Despite the recession, the UK continues to perform well on a number of important economic indicators as well as on indicators measuring entrepreneurship and opportunity and social capital, but beyond the positive headlines there are signs of weakness in some areas for the UK.
"Measurements of healthcare, domestic security and quality of education are the areas in which the UK ranks lowest, falling outside of the global top 20 on the latter two.
"The index clearly shows that the UK's path to future prosperity rests in its ability to be a global leader in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and in how well it tackles these barriers to continued growth."
The Prosperity Index will be launched on Monday by Lord Mandelson, the former EU trade commissioner and former Business Secretary, in London.
Of the 110 countries covered by the survey, Britain ranks 101st on public confidence in financial institutions, 98th on optimism about job prospects and 93rd on expectations of future economic performance - the kind of ratings usually found in the world's poorest countries, the Legatum Institute said.