A new study by the Martin Prosperity Institute has placed Australia #1 in the world for creativity, ahead of the United States, New Zealand, and Canada, as reported by the World Economic Forum.

The Global Creativity Index 2015 ranks 139 nations on "technology, talent, and tolerance" to generate an overall score, presenting a new model of economic development.

"Technology" scores are based on research and development investment, along with patents per capita, while "talent" relates to the share of working adults with higher education qualifications employed in creative fields.  "Tolerance" reflects local attitudes towards migrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTI communities.

The study draws close links between the knowledge economy and overall creativity with economic and social development.

Australia was followed closely by the United States in second place, New Zealand in third, and Canada fourth in overall ranking.  Australia was also first in talent, while South Korea lead in technology, and Canada held the top position in tolerance.

The creative sector in Australia is one of the fastest growing and dynamic segments of the national economy.  More than half a million Australians are now employed in the creative industry, and over 160 000 of these are adding value to more traditional industries such as banking, manufacturing, and government.

Australia has a strong track record for creative innovation, being the home of Wi-Fi technology, black box flight recorder, and the cochlear implant.

The full report can be accessed here.