Social Progress Index

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2018 Social Progress Index

The Social Progress Index (SPI) 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, foundations of well-being, and opportunity to progress show the relative performance of nations. The index is published by the nonprofit Social Progress Imperative, and is based on the writings of Amartya Sen, Douglass North, and Joseph Stiglitz.[1] The SPI measures the well-being of a society by observing social and environmental outcomes directly rather than the economic factors. The social and environmental factors include wellness (including health, shelter and sanitation), equality, inclusion, sustainability and personal freedom and safety.[2]

Introduction and methodology[edit]

The index combines three dimensions

  1. Basic human needs
  2. Foundations of well-being
  3. Opportunity

Each dimension includes four components, which are each composed of between three and five specific outcome indicators. The included indicators are selected because they are measured appropriately, with a consistent methodology, by the same organization across all (or essentially all) of the countries in the sample. Together, this framework aims to capture a broad range of interrelated factors revealed by the scholarly literature and practitioner experience as underpinning social progress.

Two key features of the Social Progress Index are:[2]

  1. the exclusion of economic variables
  2. the use of outcome measures rather than inputs

Social Progress Imperative evaluated hundreds of possible indicators while developing the Social Progress Index, including engaging researchers at MIT to determine what indicators best differentiated the performance of nations. The index uses outcome measures when there are sufficient data available or the closest possible proxies.[2]

History[edit]

In 2010, a group of global leaders from the social sector sought to develop a better measure of a country's level of development and, by extension, better understand its development priorities. Funded by private foundations and under the technical guidance of Professors Michael Porter from Harvard Business School and Scott Stern from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the group formed Social Progress Imperative and launched a beta version of the Social Progress Index for 50 countries in 2013 to measure a comprehensive array of components of social and environmental performance and aggregate them into an overall framework.

This work was influenced by the contributions of Amartya Sen on social development, as well as by the recent call for action in the report Mismeasuring Our Lives by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress.[3] The Social Progress Index was released in 2014 for 133 countries with a second version in 2015.[2]

On 11 July 2013, Social Progress Imperative's chairman and professor at Harvard Business School, Michael Porter, addressed the United Nations 6th Ministerial Forum for Development and discussed the Social Progress Index.[2]

In addition to the global Social Progress Index, the methodology used to create it has been adapted to measure social and environmental performance in smaller areas, such as the Amazon region of Brazil.[4] Other projects include a Social Progress Index for the Municipality of Guatemala City.[5] Fundacion Paraguaya has integrated elements of the Social Progress Index into its Poverty Stoplight tool. The national government of Paraguay is setting a target for Social Progress Index performance alongside GDP targets.

The Guardian reported that the European Commission had agreed to partner with Social Progress Imperative to create a social progress index for the European Union.[6] The EU Social Progress Index was published in October, 2016.

A similar index, although with some differences compared to the nation list (and therefore not directly comparable), has been published for the individual U.S. states.[7][8]

2019 Rankings and scores by country[edit]

Color key:

Very high →  Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 6  → Very low
Country 2019[9]
Rank Score Basic Human Needs Foundation of Well Being Opportunity
 Norway 1 90.95 96.89 92.32 83.64
 Denmark 2 90.09 96.51 90.18 83.59
  Switzerland 3 89.89 96.98 91.14 81.55
 Finland 4 89.56 96.10 89.25 83.33
 Sweden 5 89.45 96.39 89.88 82.08
 Iceland 6 89.29 98.30 87.91 81.66
 New Zealand 7 88.93 96.98 88.55 81.25
 Germany 8 88.84 95.75 87.70 83.06
 Canada 9 88.81 96.80 88.36 81.29
 Japan 10 88.34 97.72 91.04 76.26
 Netherlands 11 88.31 96.74 88.30 79.88
 Australia 12 88.02 95.88 86.40 81.79
 United Kingdom 13 87.98 94.63 89.05 80.28
 Ireland 14 87.97 94.89 88.93 80.10
 France 15 87.79 94.44 90.72 78.20
 Luxembourg 16 87.66 94.79 90.56 77.62
 Spain 17 87.47 94.77 90.34 77.30
 Portugal 18 87.12 95.81 87.43 78.12
 Belgium 19 86.77 93.89 87.29 79.12
 Austria 20 86.40 96.38 87.41 75.42
 Slovenia 21 85.80 95.64 86.18 75.58
 Italy 22 85.69 92.32 88.64 76.12
 South Korea 23 85.61 96.87 86.08 73.90
 Czech Republic 24 84.36 95.85 82.52 74.72
 Estonia 25 83.98 91.91 85.79 74.25
 United States 26 83.62 91.64 82.05 77.17
 Singapore 27 83.23 98.39 85.05 66.24
 Cyprus 28 83.14 93.10 86.84 69.48
 Malta 29 82.63 92.99 87.95 66.95
 Greece 30 82.48 92.82 83.08 71.53
 Israel 31 81.44 93.58 84.46 66.27
 Lithuania 32 81.30 90.44 81.67 71.78
 Poland 33 81.25 94.11 81.00 68.65
 Costa Rica 34 80.65 88.48 83.66 69.80
 Slovakia 35 80.43 94.04 80.97 80.97
 Latvia 36 80.42 89.93 81.03 70.30
 Chile 37 80.02 91.04 79.85 69.18
 Croatia 38 79.21 90.90 80.88 65.86
 Hungary 39 78.77 91.77 78.38 66.17
 Barbados 40 77.89 89.35 76.78 67.55
 Uruguay 41 77.77 88.59 77.08 67.63
 Argentina 42 76.86 84.43 76.11 70.05
 Bulgaria 43 76.17 89.59 75.30 63.61
 Mauritius 44 74.88 91.30 72.60 60.75
 Romania 45 74.81 87.60 74.66 62.19
 Malaysia 46 74.17 89.11 76.34 57.06
 Panama 47 73.96 84.52 78.92 58.44
 Belarus 48 73.90 90.16 73.49 58.06
 Brazil 49 72.87 81.79 76.56 60.26
 Jamaica 50 72.58 81.30 68.80 67.65
 Tunisia 51 72.33 86.56 71.00 59.42
 Ecuador 52 71.88 82.57 77.01 56.05
 Serbia 53 71.59 86.00 70.97 57.81
 Albania 54 71.57 85.03 79.03 50.65
 Mexico 55 71.51 82.31 74.67 57.54
 Georgia 56 71.34 84.59 73.28 73.28
 Peru 57 71.31 80.06 78.63 55.22
 Montenegro 58 71.16 84.95 76.88 51.66
 Armenia 59 71.14 87.97 73.52 73.52
 Colombia 60 70.31 81.25 78.55 51.12
 United Arab Emirates 61 69.84 89.29 70.92 49.31
 Russia 62 69.71 83.89 72.40 52.83
 Jordan 63 69.57 88.90 69.24 50.59
 Qatar 64 69.37 93.07 71.26 43.78
 Sri Lanka 65 69.09 78.66 77.52 51.08
 Oman 66 69.08 88.25 72.80 46.20
 Republic of North Macedonia 67 68.92 86.37 72.81 47.57
 Cabo Verde 68 68.55 77.77 68.99 68.99
 Kazakhstan 69 68.20 85.39 70.36 48.84
 Moldova 70 67.58 82.36 69.31 51.09
 Turkey 71 67.49 85.00 69.97 47.50
 Thailand 72 67.47 82.07 72.66 47.69
 South Africa 73 67.44 73.93 65.35 63.03
 Cuba 74 67.42 87.19 65.98 49.09
 Suriname 75 67.27 81.38 62.30 58.14
 Bhutan 76 67.26 84.14 68.37 49.29
 Paraguay 77 67.20 81.08 69.88 50.64
 Dominican Republic 78 67.15 77.14 71.14 53.16
 Algeria 79 67.06 82.75 67.74 50.68
 Ukraine 80 66.97 82.21 64.22 54.47
 Kyrgyzstan 81 66.64 82.43 69.36 48.11
 Morocco 82 66.04 84.15 65.95 48.02
 Mongolia 83 65.60 72.16 65.82 58.81
 Botswana 84 65.58 72.48 68.07 56.20
 Indonesia 85 65.52 74.43 69.23 52.92
 Iran 86 65.15 84.16 68.35 42.94
 Lebanon 87 64.98 79.94 66.17 48.82
 El Salvador 88 64.65 77.27 68.13 48.54
 China 89 64.54 81.35 68.85 43.41
 Saudi Arabia 90 63.95 85.62 69.21 37.01
 Fiji 91 63.85 81.97 60.98 48.60
 Guyana 92 63.74 78.36 61.06 51.81
 Bolivia 93 63.66 74.64 65.75 50.59
 Philippines 94 63.40 68.62 69.29 52.30
 Ghana 95 61.75 63.60 66.61 55.03
 Egypt 96 61.71 83.20 54.85 47.09
 São Tomé and Príncipe 97 61.42 67.05 63.23 53.98
 Honduras 98 60.31 71.92 63.66 63.66
   Nepal 99 60.23 69.23 59.36 52.09
 Uzbekistan 100 59.83 83.22 58.18 38.08
 Guatemala 101 59.67 70.68 66.83 41.50
 India 102 59.10 67.72 58.94 50.63
 Nicaragua 103 58.97 72.63 66.97 37.32
 Senegal 104 58.59 66.91 61.96 46.92
 Timor-Leste 105 55.80 62.10 60.52 44.77
 Turkmenistan 106 55.57 84.55 53.38 3.38
 Tajikistan 107 54.92 75.80 59.55 29.41
 Bangladesh 108 54.11 66.41 60.03 35.88
 Kenya 109 53.51 55.82 61.18 43.54
 Rwanda 110 52.96 57.55 61.27 40.06
 The Gambia 111 52.90 61.22 53.69 43.80
 Tanzania 112 52.96 53.46 60.31 44.30
 Myanmar 113 52.65 62.22 56.43 56.43
 Comoros 114 52.04 62.00 53.19 40.94
 Swaziland 115 51.21 62.97 52.00 38.68
 Benin 116 51.07 47.84 55.95 41.96
 Côte d'Ivoire 117 50.56 53.49 57.48 40.72
 Malawi 118 50.52 53.50 54.71 43.34
 Cambodia 119 50.36 59.88 59.36 31.83
 Laos 120 49.34 61.63 55.32 31.07
 Nigeria 121 49.20 50.17 57.31 40.12
 Sierra Leone 122 49.09 47.65 56.20 43.42
 Togo 123 48.58 47.84 55.95 41.96
 Lesotho 124 48.44 49.29 46.32 49.72
 Pakistan 125 48.20 58.46 48.83 37.29
 Djibouti 126 48.05 59.68 45.17 39.28
 Cameroon 127 48.04 54.86 54.86 34.39
 Burkina Faso 128 47.82 45.76 56.26 41.43
 North Korea 129 46.95 63.39 50.12 27.34
 Liberia 130 46.67 44.47 48.31 47.24
 Zimbabwe 131 46.58 46.18 57.65 35.91
 Mali 132 45.98 55.76 48.93 33.26
 Congo, Republic of 133 45.67 52.60 52.67 31.76
 Ethiopia 134 45.41 49.65 54.91 31.69
 Mozambique 135 45.39 46.01 51.77 38.39
 Madagascar 136 43.58 42.93 46.43 41.38
 Angola 137 42.58 49.00 45.05 33.70
 Mauritania 138 42.45 53.37 45.51 28.45
 Niger 139 41.70 43.89 43.85 37.47
 Sudan 140 41.59 54.66 45.52 24.58
 Guinea 141 40.59 44.49 47.78 29.48
 Burundi 142 39.09 44.04 47.00 26.21
 Afghanistan 143 38.60 51.72 38.91 25.17
 Papua New Guinea 144 38.59 37.12 39.37 39.29
 Congo, Democratic Republic of 145 36.77 38.49 46.08 25.75
 Eritrea 146 31.61 40.98 33.87 19.97
 Chad 147 28.79 29.65 35.57 21.15
 Central African Republic 148 28.05 23.55 32.60 28.01
 South Sudan 149 24.44 32.15 26.28 14.90
 Azerbaijan N/A N/A 84.76 N/A 32.98
 Bahrain N/A N/A N/A 72.45 37.49
 Bosnia and Herzegovina N/A N/A 86.58 N/A 49.69
 Brunei Darussalam N/A N/A N/A 78.17 N/A
 Equatorial Guinea N/A N/A 61.68 N/A 25.53
 Gabon N/A N/A 73.30 N/A 46.83
 Guinea-Bissau N/A N/A 43.88 N/A N/A
 Haiti N/A N/A 43.71 N/A 34.50
 Iraq N/A N/A 79.49 N/A 38.30
 Kuwait N/A N/A N/A 82.78 52.77
 Libya N/A N/A 72.38 N/A 38.06
 Maldives N/A N/A 85.33 N/A 38.94
 Namibia N/A N/A 63.10 N/A 55.80
 Seychelles N/A N/A 86.14 76.36 N/A
 Solomon Islands N/A N/A N/A 54.15 N/A
 Somalia N/A N/A 37.72 N/A N/A
 Trinidad and Tobago N/A N/A 84.52 N/A 62.48
 Uganda N/A N/A 48.90 N/A 41.34
 Vanuatu N/A N/A 66.16 55.84 N/A
 Vietnam N/A N/A 80.48 N/A 41.19
 Zambia N/A N/A 51.03 N/A 41.61

Criticism[edit]

From an econometric stand point, the Index appears to be similar to other efforts aimed at overcoming the limitation of traditional economic measure such as the gross domestic product (GDP). One major criticism is that although the Social Progress Index can be seen as a superset of indicators used by earlier econometric models such as Gross National Well-being Index 2005, Bhutan Gross National Happiness Index of 2012, and World Happiness Report of 2012, unlike them, it ignores measures of subjective life satisfaction and psychological well-being. Other critics point out that "there remain certain dimensions that are currently not included in the SPI. These are the concentration of wealth in the top 1 percent of the population, efficiency of the judicial system, and quality of the transportation infrastructure."[10]

Some critics argue for caution. Though words such as “inclusive capitalism” are now bandied around increasingly to signal a new age, free from ideological battlegrounds between public and private, much of what the organization’s founders say about it confirms that the index is about more “business inclusive” than “inclusive capitalism.”[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beyond GDP". The Economist. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Social Progress Imperitive Website". Social Progress Imperitive. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Beyond GDP". The Economist. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Conservation of Amazon threatened by poor social conditions of its people: study". Global Post. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  5. ^ "ÍNDICE DE PROGRESO SOCIAL DE LA CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA - Progreso Social". progresosocial.org. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  6. ^ Jo Confino. "European Commission agrees to investigate using social progress tool alongside GDP". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Social Progress Index: US States – Methodology Summary" (PDF). Social Progress Imperative. 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  8. ^ "State Progress Reports". Social Progress Imperative. 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  9. ^ https://www.socialprogress.org/
  10. ^ http://opinion.inquirer.net/80526/social-progress-index
  11. ^ http://www.humanosphere.org/social-business/2016/05/a-new-index-to-measure-social-progress-but-what-is-it-really-telling-us/

External links[edit]