The Social Progress Index 2016

Partnering to measure what really matters

With the support of Deloitte, the Social Progress Imperative, a US non-profit organization, has released its Social Progress Index 2016 report. The Social Progress Index is a new index that measures growth by analyzing the progress of a country’s social aspects. This index is completely non-economic and is set to act alongside GDP as a complementary tool, a core benchmark to provide a whole and inclusive view of a country’s progress.

This year in total 133 countries were ranked among which Lithuania took 34th place (last year – 35th). Estonia took the top position among the Baltic countries – 23rd place, and Latvia – 36th place.

In the 2016 Index, Finland takes the top spot (scoring 90.09/100), followed by Canada (89.49) and Denmark (89.39). However the performance of the highest 12 countries in the Index was close, with only small differences between their social progress scores (1st: 90.09 – 12th: 87.94). 

Slovenia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Latvia score above 98.00 in Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, but are not yet able to meet the level of Health and Wellness achieved by the other countries in this tier, particularly because of a high number of deaths from non-communicable diseases. Slovenia is the best performing among the group, especially on Opportunity where other former Soviet countries lag. It boasts higher Freedom over Life Choices and higher Tolerance for Immigrants than its neighboring countries.

Social Progress Index 2016

Fourteen of the top 20 countries on the Social Progress Index are members of the European Union or EFTA, with Finland as the world’s top ranking country. The Nordic countries, culturally progressive with strong social safety nets, are the highest performing within Europe, with all countries scoring among the top 10 countries in the Index and leading the world in nearly every component. Luxembourg and Malta have only partial Social Progress Index data. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino do not have sufficient data for even partial results.

A new finding from this year’s report highlights the plight of young people - nearly half the world’s youth live in low social progress countries. The 2016 report find that nearly half the world’s youth live in low social progress countries – if you are young you are much more likely to live in a society without basic medical care, clean water, safety, personal freedoms and tolerance. On average the oldest population group has a score of 67.63, which would put them at 59th in the Index if they were a country – meanwhile the youngest demographic has a score of only 60.15, ranking them at 93rd in the Index.

"Social progress is a guarantee of stability and competitiveness, because it is clear that the world economy would not be able to thrive without a healthy and educated society, advanced infrastructure, an effective judicial system, peace and tolerance," says Saulius Bakas, Managing Partner of Deloitte office in Lithuania.

"Deloitte experts actively contributing to social progress index preparation believes that businesses and the public sector should join forces and work more closely in order to jointly create a safer, healthier and more convenient environment for the society," he adds.

What is the Social Progress Index?

About the Social Progress Index (SPI)

Relying only on a country’s GDP as the measure of progress provides an incomplete picture of human and societal development. Designed to complement GDP, the Social Progress Index provides an authoritative view on the things that matter most to people, across three dimensions:

  • Basic Human Needs – such as water and shelter
  • Foundations of Wellbeing – such as health and education
  • Opportunity – equality and personal rights


The Social Progress Index uses 50+ societal and environmental indicators to measure 133 countries, covering 94% of the world’s population.

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