If you’re considering moving or simply wondering which nations are provided with the best chance at living a great life, read this
26 December 2016| Last updated on 19 October 2017
The not-for-profit organisation Social Progressive Imperative compiled data for their 2016 Social Progress Index about the standard of life in countries across the world. The Social Progress Index shows how well a country performs in three factors: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity.
Basic Human needs includes nutrition and basic medical care, water and sanitation, shelter and personal safety. Foundations of Wellbeing includes access to basic knowledge, access to information and communication, health and wellness, and environmental quality. Finally, Opportunity involves personal rights, personal freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion, and access to advanced education.
It’s common to measure a country’s success through traditional economic measures, such as GDP, but success is about more than just money. It’s true that high income countries generally have higher social progress, but it’s not a linear relationship. The proof of that? Only two out of the following 10 are amongst the richest nations in the world.
The Social Progress Index looks at social and environmental indicators that help paint a more complete picture about its strengths and weaknesses as well as its level of development. Social progress, opportunity, the means for survival and tools to help build a better life are all important factors that contribute to how well a nation is doing.
SEE ALSO: 12 things that prove 2016 wasn't all that bad
As a whole, the world scores a 62.88 out of 100 on the Social Progress Index, with 73.17 in Basic Human Needs, 67.24 on the Foundations of Wellbeing and just 48.24 on Opportunity. There is such a big variation in how the different countries are doing and many nations unfortunately fail at creating opportunities for all its citizens.
After adding the three factors, the Index results in a score out of 100 for every country.
Top 10 on the Social Progress Index
2. Canada – 89.49
3. Denmark – 89.39
4. Australia – 89.13
5. Switzerland – 88.87
6. Sweden – 88.80
7. Norway – 88.70
8. Netherlands – 88.65
9. United Kingdom – 88.58
10. Iceland – 88.45
First place in each of the three main factors belong to Denmark in Basic Human Needs, Norway in Foundation of Wellbeing and Canada in Opportunity.
Access to Basic Knowledge was one of the strongest categories for every single country in the top 10. Either Personal Rights or Personal Freedom & Choice were the other strongest category for every country, with the exception of Iceland, where it was substituted by Tolerance and Inclusion. Water and Sanitation is also one of the strongest for most of the 10 countries, with the exception of Norway and Finland, where Nutrition and Medical Care outperformed it.
SEE ALSO: Odd baby names banned around the world
The weakest categories for most were either Health & Wellness or Access to Advanced Education. The two exceptions were Canada, with the weakest being Foundations of Wellbeing, mainly due to the obesity rate. The second one was the United Kingdom, with Tolerance & Inclusion, mainly due to discrimination and violence against minorities as well as religious tolerance.