SPI results


2017 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 really 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 2017 Social Progress Index report was launched on 21 June by SPI with support from Deloitte and its strategic partners. See the full 2017 results here.
  • It finds that 113 countries, out of the 128 countries ranked, have improved their level of social progress since 2014, with some countries demonstrating that it’s possible to significantly improve social progress, in spite of economic and geopolitical challenges.
  • 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.
  • Denmark is the world’s top performer this year (scoring 90.57/100), closely followed by a combination of the remaining Nordic countries, as well as countries much larger in size and more diverse in population, including Canada, Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
  • If the world were a country, it would rank between Indonesia and Botswana, with a population-weighted score of 64.85/100. That indicates an improvement in global social progress of 2.6% over the last four years.
  • The overall improvement is a result of advancements in access to information, communications and advanced education driving social progress globally, with some convergence in progress towards nutrition and basic medical care, access to basic knowledge through enrolment and literacy, and water and sanitation.
  • But progress is reversing in some areas such as Personal Rights. At this rate of social progress the world will find it challenging to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

For additional insights and perspectives click here.

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. And increasingly we realise 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 road map, the Social Progress Index has the ability to 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.

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