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2020 social progress index 5.09 MB

The Social Progress Index provides a comprehensive picture of the lived experience of more than 7 billion people across 163 countries. The index is the most comprehensive measure of a country’s social and environmental performance independent of economic factors, and complements traditional measures of success such GDP.

Key findings

  • The index captures outcomes related to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and reveals that, if current trends continue the world will not achieve the goals until 2082.
  • The data also indicates that, unless urgent actions are taken, the Covid-19 pandemic will set us back another decade, delaying achievement of the goals to 2092—more than 60 years after the 2030 target date.
  • In general, the world is improving. Since 2014, the world average score increased from 60.63 to 64.24, and there has been improvement on eight of 12 components of social progress.
  • Despite this overall progress, Personal Rights and Inclusiveness have declined since 2011, while the world has stagnated on Environmental Quality and Personal Safety. 
  • Norway ranks first in the world on social progress with a score of 92.72.
  • The fastest progress over the past decade is among developing countries, with The Gambia, Ethiopia and Tunisia demonstrating notable improvement.
  • There are important outliers that have declined on social progress. Most notably, the United States continues to backslide, declining both in absolute terms and relative to its wealthy, world-power peers, ranking just 28th in social progress and is only one of three countries declining in social progress over the past decade.
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