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Prosperous vs. Successful — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 4, 2024
Prosperous often refers to financial wealth and a high standard of living, while successful encompasses a broader achievement of goals across various life aspects.
Prosperous vs. Successful — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Prosperous and Successful


Key Differences

Prosperous often refers to financial wealth and abundance, while successful denotes achievements in various areas of life.
Prosperous implies financial wealth and thriving conditions, often linked to economic success. On the other hand, successful encompasses a broader range of achievements, not limited to financial gain but also including personal, professional, and social accomplishments.
While prosperous communities are characterized by economic growth and high standards of living, successful individuals or entities are recognized for achieving their goals, regardless of the financial implications.
Prosperity is typically measured by economic indicators such as GDP per capita or income levels, whereas success is measured by the attainment of personal or collective objectives, which may vary greatly from one individual or group to another.
A prosperous era or society often enjoys material wealth and stability, but a successful endeavor could be the completion of a project, winning a competition, or achieving personal milestones, which might not always involve wealth.
In discussing individuals, being prosperous suggests financial security and abundance, while being successful refers to the fulfillment of specific goals, which could range from career milestones to personal development achievements.

Comparison Chart


Relating to financial wealth and a high standard of living.
Achieving goals and objectives in any area of life.


Primarily on economic success and wealth.
Broader, including personal, professional, and social achievements.


Often quantified by financial metrics.
Measured by the achievement of personal or communal goals.


Implies a state of economic flourishing and growth.
Implies the fulfillment of objectives and personal satisfaction.


May be viewed in terms of material wealth and comfort.
Viewed through the lens of accomplishments and achievements.

Compare with Definitions


Rich and wealthy.
The prosperous era was marked by lavish lifestyles.


Accomplished in personal endeavors.
She was successful in climbing Mount Everest.


Successful in material terms.
Prosperous neighborhoods are characterized by luxury homes.


Prosperous but in a broader sense.
Successful people often balance career and personal life.


Abounding in resources.
The prosperous land yielded abundant crops.


Achieving desired goals.
The successful novelist published multiple bestsellers.


Financially successful.
The prosperous entrepreneur owned several businesses.


Victorious in achieving objectives.
The successful negotiation led to a peace treaty.


Flourishing economically.
Prosperous countries often have a high GDP.


Fulfilling one's purpose.
The project was successful in raising environmental awareness.


Having success; flourishing
A prosperous new business.


Having a favorable outcome
A successful heart transplant.


Well-to-do; well-off
A prosperous family.


Having obtained something desired or intended
Was successful in stopping the leak of oil.


Propitious; favorable
A prosperous moment to make a decision.


Having achieved wealth or eminence
A successful architect.


Characterized by success.


Resulting in success; assuring, or promoting, success; accomplishing what was proposed; having the desired effect
A successful use of medicine;
A successful experiment;
A successful enterprise


Well off; affluent.
He was raised in a very prosperous household.


Resulting in success; assuring, or promotive of, success; accomplishing what was proposed; having the desired effect; hence, prosperous; fortunate; happy; as, a successful use of medicine; a successful experiment; a successful enterprise.
Welcome, nephews, from successful wars.


He chose a prosperous lottery number that evening.


Having succeeded or being marked by a favorable outcome;
A successful architect
A successful business venture


Tending to prosperity; favoring; favorable; helpful.
A happy passage and a prosperous wind.


Being prospered; advancing in the pursuit of anything desirable; making gain, or increase; thriving; successful; as, a prosperous voyage; a prosperous undertaking; a prosperous man or nation.
By moderation either state to bearProsperous or adverse.


In fortunate circumstances financially; moderately rich;
They were comfortable or even wealthy by some standards
Easy living
A prosperous family
His family is well-situated financially
Well-to-do members of the community


Very lively and profitable;
Flourishing businesses
A palmy time for stockbrokers
A prosperous new business
Doing a roaring trade
A thriving tourist center
Did a thriving business in orchids


Marked by peace and prosperity;
A golden era
The halcyon days of the clipper trade


Tending to favor or bring good luck;
Miracles are auspicious accidents
Encouraging omens
A favorable time to ask for a raise
Lucky stars
A prosperous moment to make a decision

Common Curiosities

What makes a person prosperous?

A person becomes prosperous primarily through financial success and economic growth.

How do societies measure prosperity?

Societies often measure prosperity through economic indicators like GDP, employment rates, and standard of living.

Can a person be successful but not prosperous?

Yes, one can be successful in non-materialistic terms, such as personal achievements, without necessarily being financially prosperous.

Is success the same for everyone?

No, success is highly individualistic and varies greatly from person to person.

How can one achieve prosperity?

Through financial planning, investment, and creating opportunities for economic growth.

What are the signs of a successful life?

Signs include achieving personal and professional goals, fulfillment, and a positive impact on others.

Do successful people always feel prosperous?

Not necessarily; success is subjective and can be felt even without financial prosperity.

Is prosperity a part of being successful?

Prosperity can be a component of success if one's goals include financial wealth.

Can a society be prosperous but not successful?

Yes, if it's financially wealthy but fails in aspects like equality, health, or happiness.

What impact does culture have on the perception of success?

Cultural values and norms significantly influence what is considered successful in a society.

What role does education play in achieving success?

Education often lays the foundation for both professional and personal achievements.

Can prosperity lead to success?

Financial prosperity can facilitate further achievements, contributing to overall success.

Is it harder to achieve prosperity or success?

The difficulty varies individually, depending on one’s goals and definition of each.

How do entrepreneurs define success?

Many entrepreneurs define success as meeting their business goals and making an impact.

How do priorities change between prosperous and successful individuals?

Prosperous individuals may focus on financial growth, whereas successful individuals prioritize a range of goals, including personal satisfaction and social impact.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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