The Social Progress Index has just released a 2019 report comparing the prior six years of global data. The Social Progress Index, according to their website, “…is the first holistic measure of a country’s social and environmental performance that is independent of economic factors, and serves as a complement to economic measures like GDP to understand the true state of a society.”
The Social Progress Index data is collected from the over 7 billion people living in 149 countries globally and focuses on identified trends and how those relate to 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the Social Progress Index uses to measure forward movement of regional and global progress.
In the 2019 report the Social Progress Index states, “In general, the world is improving. Since 2014, the world average score increased from 61.80 to 64.47, and there has been improvement on eight of 12 social progress components.” These social progress components are described in the categories of ‘Basic Human Needs’, ‘Foundations of Wellbeing’, and ‘Opportunity’. It is noted that the Personal Rights category has diminished instead of progressed worldwide, and that the United States has had a continuous backslide in regards to social progress.
Despite that, 137 of the 149 countries the Social Progress Index collects data from have experienced at least some level of progress in the past six years, with many countries having made significant progress. Norway ranked as the country that has experienced the most social progress since 2014, and The Gambia, Nepal, and Sierra Leone all are highlighted for their dramatic progress.
On the importance of the Social Progress Index Sharon Thorne of Deloitte states, “Acting as a roadmap, the Social Progress Index can help enable leaders – across business, government and civil society – to systematically identify a strategy towards responsible and inclusive growth through prioritizing the most pressing needs of their communities.”
The Social Progress Index website lets you look at a ‘scorecard’ for any country and view it’s progress over the last six years. Where does your country rank? What has improved and what needs more attention?