New Social Progress Index

1034121_world_peoplesThe Social Progress Imperative has just published the Social Progress Index (SPI), a ranking of 50 countries by their social and environmental performance.

Sweden was found to be the most socially advanced country in the world, followed by United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. Spain ranks 10th.

The SPI is distinctive for being based entirely on social and environmental measures covering basic human needs, foundations of well-being and opportunity.

The Index shows where nations should focus their efforts to improve the well-being of their people. It uses a rigorous statistical technique and the best available data from internationally recognized sources, including the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

Some of the key findings from the SPI include:

-Scores on the health and wellness component show no correlation to spending on health as a percent of GDP for the 16 OECD countries in the Index. This poses particular challenges for countries that spend the most on healthcare. The United States, for example, leads OECD nations in total spending per capita on healthcare, but ranks only 11th of the 16 OECD countries in the Social Progress Index on health and wellness.

-Spain: 10th overall, and 11th in terms of GDP ranks 22nd for Personal Freedom and Choice.

-Britain (2nd) and Sweden (1st) perform highly on the Social Progress Index when compared to their performance on the United Nations Human Development Index because they perform consistently across the three dimensions of social progress – basic needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity – whereas the United States is weaker on foundations of wellbeing and Germany and France are weaker on opportunity. Nearly all rich countries perform poorly on ecosystem sustainability—especially large countries with abundant natural resources like Australia (46th), Canada (47th), and the United States (48th).

The Index was developed in collaboration with economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and leading international organizations in social entrepreneurship, business, philanthropy, and academia including Cisco, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), Skoll Foundation, Fundación AVINA, and Compartamos Banco.

Download the full report here.