The headline finding of the report is that most economies are failing to provide the conditions in which their citizens can thrive, often by a large margin. As a result, an individual’s opportunities in life remain tethered to their socio-economic status at birth, entrenching historical inequalities.
This is a major problem not only for the individual, but also society and the economy. Human capital is the driving force of economic growth. As a result, anything that undermines the best allocation of talent and impedes the accumulation of human capital may significantly hamper growth. Poor social mobility coupled with inequality of opportunity underpin these frictions, suggesting that if the level of social mobility were increased, it could act as a lever to economic growth.
The Global Social Mobility Index, which benchmarks 82 global economies, is designed to provide policy-makers with a means to identify areas for improving social mobility and promoting equally shared opportunities in their economies, regardless of their development.
Global Social Mobility Index 2020 – Country rankings:
Most economies need to bridge their social mobility gap. Overall however, the Nordic countries are the best performers. Denmark tops the rankings with a social mobility score of 85.2, closely followed by Finland (83.6), Norway (83.6), Sweden (83.5) and Iceland (82.7). These nations combine access, quality and equity in education, while also providing work opportunities and good working conditions, alongside quality social protection and inclusive institutions.
Read the full WEF report here.