The Social Progress Index

A holistic measure of progress

For 80 years GDP has been the gold standard fro measuring a country's economic progress, but limiting a country's measure of growth and competitiveness to just economic indicators creates an incomplete picture.

The Social Progress Index

In 2013 Social Progress Imperative teamed with leading experts across sectors to develop the Social Progress Index. This index utilizes indicators above and beyond the economic factors measured by GDP, providing an authoratative view of a country's social and environmental strengths and weaknesses. Designed to complement GDP, the index will help illustrate the whole picture for more than 90% of the world's population across 132 countries.  

The measurements are grouped through three basic indicators:

  • Basic human needs (such as water, nutrition and shelter) 
  • Foundations of wellbeing (such as health, sustainability, and access to communications)
  • Opportunity (such as political freedoms, tolerance, and access to higher education)

By highlighting the most pressing issues that prevent progress, the index acts as a focal point for convening and platform building - bringing together the right players from different sectors to identify innovative solutions. 

Insights from this analysis – and the actions they ignite – have the power to shift thinking for the better. Countries will be able to drive sustainable, and faster, growth through increased collaborations, more effective policies, and focused funding. 

For business, identifying the areas that are hindering a particular country’s progress relative to their peers can serve as a country specific guide helping them determine where to leverage their skills and expertise to greatest effect.

Learn more about the Social Progress Index and download the 2014 report.

“It is our hope that just as GDP is the de facto measure of economic growth, so too the Social Progress Index will gain recognition as the de facto measure of social progress".

Michael Green

Executive Director, Social Progress Imperative

Social Progress at the regional level

On August 25th 2014, a new Social Progress Index for the Brazilian Amazon was released. The report, which measured the well-being of 24 million people, found that social progress in the resource and nature rich region was considerably lower than in the rest of Brazil. A lack of opportunity was found to be the most pressing problem Amazon residents faced. The report will be used to focus discussion around the social and environmental issues facing the region and may be used as a compass to guide management and public policies for the Amazon. The work was led by a research institute, Imazon, and supported by Deloitte Brazil through its leadership role in the Brazilian Partner Network, #ProgressoSocialBrazil.

You can read more about the methodology and the findings of the Social Progress Index for the Brazilian Amazon here.

"Studies like this one are essential for leaders across public, private, and civil sectors to gain a deep understanding of the challenges for regions, like the Brazilian Amazon"

Steve Almond 

Global Chairman, Deloitte Global

Social Progress Index 2014 Deloitte launch

On 8 April 2014, Deloitte held a breakfast briefing to celebrate the launch of the 2014 Social Progress Index. Attended by influential individuals from the private sector, government, and civil society, and available to all online, guests watched a key note address by Professor Michael E. Porter on the connection between social and economic progress. This was followed by a panel discussion on how the Index can be used to galvanize collective action to unlock true growth and progress. The event was hosted at the Deloitte London offices by Deloitte's UK CEO, David Sproul.

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