A Social Progress Index

By John BristowNo Comments

The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-four indicators in the areas of basic human needs (such as personal safety, sanitation, shelter, nutrition and basic medical care), foundations of wellbeing (such as health, access to basic education, information and communication, environmental quality – including greenhouse gases, biodiversity and habitat), and opportunity to progress (personal rights, freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion and access to education).

In the top 10 countries in 2016 were the Nordic countries (Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway), Canada, Australia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, Iceland and New Zealand. The US was 19th.

“The Social Progress Index proves that GDP is not destiny,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of the Social Progress Imperative, the US-based nonprofit behind the rankings. “We need more countries to be like Costa Rica, which squeezes a lot of social progress out of its modest GDP.” Costa Rica’s modest GDP per capita is just US$14,232, but the nation amounts to the world’s biggest over-achiever when it comes to social progress measures. Costa Rica came in at 28th on the list of 133 countries ranked in the report

Economics, Quality of Life, Rich and Poor Gap
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