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Social Progress Index 2014 launched today

Merrell Tuck-Primdahl's picture

In April 2013, the Social Progress Imperative launched a research product, the Social Progress Index, during a forum at the University of Oxford. Now it's year two and they've grabbed headlines with the results of the 2014 index, finding New Zealand is on top and Chad at the bottom of the overall rankings. What also jumps out are big differences in social progress for countries with similar incomes.

According to Index, economic success alone doesn't explain social progress. The USA (16th), for example, ranks lower than New Zealand, even though the Kiwi nation's GDP is lower. The same pattern is seen for countries at all levels: Ghana (96th) has a similar GDP per capita as Nigeria (123rd), but scores a lot higher on social progress.

The Index reminds us that governments wanting better lives for their citizens need to go beyond economic growth alone in designing their development strategies.

A useful undertaking, even if the governments that rank low tend to disagree about the merits of such beauty contests. They even have a short video highlighting the findings.


Submitted by Justin Flinner on

I find this report extremely interesting and possibly a beginning to internationally recognized data that is more qualitative than quantitative. I presume it's similar to the "chicken and the egg" debate. Only now it is quality and quantity. Does economic growth affect quality of life or does quality of life help to shape economic growth? Either way, measuring from both directions would prove to provide worthy information to better serve overall world economic growth.

Submitted by Radj Bhondoe on

Agree, but for sustainability of social progress no country can do without GDP growth!

Submitted by Getahun Tafesse on

Yeah! but the real challenge is to come up with a composite index that measures a simultaneous progress in economic and social development.

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