The Social Progress Index

A holistic measure of progress

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

NEW: 2015 Social Progress Index report

On 9 April, the 2015 Social Progress Index launched - it measures the social and environmental outcomes for 133 countries, covering 94% of the world’s population.

As a complement to economic measures such as GDP, the Social Progress Index provides a more holistic measure of country performance and helps to drive real and sustainable growth that is important for business and vital for building a prosperous society.

How did your country do? 

Download the report at the left or view the 2015 infographic below to learn more. For further details please see the global press release.

The Index

Developed in 2013, Social Progress Imperative teamed with leading experts across sectors to develop the Social Progress Index. It uses key social and environmental indicators captured across three dimensions of social progress:

  • 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 Social Progress Index acts as a focal point for convening and platform building – bringing together the right players from different sectors to identify innovative solutions.

It is a practical guide for directing resources toward issues that can unlock this growth. For business, it is a necessary tool in the 21st century—guiding investment, informing social responsibility strategies, and better understanding the impact and purpose of business in society beyond profit—all key in attracting and retaining today’s talent who increasingly want to work for purpose-driven businesses.

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.

“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

Foreign Direct Investment and Social Progress

Deloitte has found that there is a positive and nuanced relationship between FDI and social progress. By better aligning the two, business, government, and non-government organizations can drive real and inclusive growth.

Find out more.

Unlocking Real Growth: Social Progress and the G20

On the 15th and 16th of November, Australia played host to the annual G20 Summit. The G20 provided an opportunity for leaders to discuss global economic issues and shape the world's effort to restore growth. Yet, growth without social progress is an empty goal. Governments need to think beyond the usual macroeconomic levers to support social progress. Australia and other G20 countries can enhance economic growth through addressing these social problems which are burdensome to economic progress.

Deloitte Australia has used the Social Progress Index to identify where Australia compares less favorably with its peer countries and therefore present opportunities for governments, business, and the not-for-profit sector to work.

To learn more visit the Deloitte Australia page or download the report. 

G20: Insights from the Social Progress Index 2014

2014 Social Progress Index in the Media

The 2014 Social Progress Index was launched in The New York Times by Puliter-prize winning journalist, Nicholas Kristof. Entitled 'We're Not No. 1, We're Not No. 1!', the article reflected that the U.S. is not as successful as popularly believed, given its Index rank of 16th. The article was the most read, tweeted, shared by email, and shared by Facebook on the 3 April 2014. It received over 650 individual comments. 

Over the Index launch period, 3-4 April 2014, the Index was covered in over 450 individual publications internationally, including the Economist, the Guardian, the BBC, Reuters, CNN, and the Boston Globe

Deloitte, as a strategic partner, has received coverage as a result, either through opinion pieces, thought leadership, or quotes. Please see below for links to examples: 


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