2019 Social Progress Index results
A global view of people’s quality of life, independent of wealth.
Deloitte and the Social Progress Imperative (SPI) are working together to get a global view of people’s quality of life and the wellbeing of society, independent of wealth. The Social Progress Index measures what matters to citizens – health care, infrastructure, civil liberties – the very characteristics that are the foundation for sustainable societies. Designed to complement GDP, the Index uses societal and environmental outcome indicators to provide an authoritative view across three dimensions: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity.
- The 2019 Social Progress Index report was launched on 18 September by SPI with support from Deloitte and its strategic partners. See the full 2019 results here.
- The 2019 Social Progress Index, and six years of results, tell us the world is generally improving, showing progress. Since the SPI’s inception in 2014, the world has improved from a score of 62.16 to 64.47. By far the greatest progress has been made on Access to Information and Communications (71.74), which improved by 11.49 points over the last six years. Increases in internet access and mobile phone subscriptions, particularly in the developing world, have played a major role.
- However, progress is slow and uneven. The world is underperforming compared to what global average GDP per capita suggests is possible. This signals that we have the resources to be better and that rising GDP figures are masking the real problems societies face and struggles of ordinary people.
- In addition, the Social Progress Index can be utilized to measure progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to projections based on the 2019 Social Progress Index, at its current pace, the world will not achieve the SDGs until 2073.
- Norway is the world’s top performer on the Social Progress Index in 2019, closely followed by three additional Nordic countries and Switzerland rounding out the top five. Countries much larger in size and more diverse in population, including the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada also find themselves in the top tier.
- The population-weighted world average score on the Social Progress Index is 64.13. If the world were a country, it would rank between China and Saudi Arabia. Since 2014, the population-weighted world average score has improved by 2.31 points.
- The Social Progress Index can be utilized to measure progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to projections based on the 2019 Social Progress Index, at its current pace the world will not achieve the SDGs until 2073.
— 2019: 73.2/100 (where 100 is SDG goals achieved)
— 2030: 78.6/100–the year set to achieve the SDGs
— 2073: when the world will actually achieve the SDGs (based on current projections)
- But progress is uneven: Shelter, Access to Information and Communications and Advanced Education are improving the fastest while Personal Rights and Inclusiveness have declined.
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Why these findings matter
- The complexities of the 21st century require new measures of progress. Relying only on a country’s wealth or GDP as a measure creates an incomplete picture of human and societal development. Moreover, increasingly we realize the getting rich will not solve current social challenges. To drive sustainable and equitable growth, we need to focus on measurements which go beyond GDP.
- The Social Progress Index is changing the way we address social challenges. 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.
- With this insight businesses can better support governments and non-profits in finding solutions to fill those gaps. Social challenges also present opportunities for companies that understand sustainable change can be met through innovative products and services. Financial institutions and impact investment groups have begun applying the Social Progress Index to understand risk and drive capital towards social investments.
For further information on how we can use the Social Progress Index to help our clients and society, see our Collaborations page.