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Social Progress Index 2014 ranks US at 16th

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posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 02:28 AM
New Social Progress Index was released and I thought about sharing it. This post will be more American-oriented due to sources, as well as considering that most users here are from US.

Reuters article

The Social Progress Index (SPI) rates 132 countries on more than 50 indicators, including health, sanitation, shelter, personal safety, access to information, sustainability, tolerance and inclusion and access to education.

The SPI asks questions such as whether a country can satisfy its people's basic needs and whether it has the infrastructure and capacity to allow its citizens to improve the quality of their lives and reach their full potential.

"The index shows that economic growth does not automatically lead to social progress," Michael Green, executive director of the Social Progress Imperative, a non-profit organization that publishes the index, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"If we are to tackle problems such as poverty and inequality, it shows that measuring economic growth alone is not enough."

NY Times opinion article on the matter: We’re Not No. 1! We’re Not No. 1!

We in the United States grow up celebrating ourselves as the world’s most powerful nation, the world’s richest nation, the world’s freest and most blessed nation.

In some ways we indisputably are, but a major new ranking of livability in 132 countries puts the United States in a sobering 16th place. We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.

In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety. Even in access to cellphones and the Internet, the United States ranks a disappointing 23rd, partly because one American in five lacks Internet access.

This Social Progress Index ranks New Zealand No. 1, followed by Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. All are somewhat poorer than America per capita, yet they appear to do a better job of meeting the needs of their people. Canada came in seventh, the best among the nations in the G-7. Germany is 12th, Britain 13th and Japan 14th.

All this goes to what kind of a nation we want to be, and whether we put too much faith in G.D.P. as a metric.

Over all, the United States’ economy outperformed France’s between 1975 and 2006. But 99 percent of the French population actually enjoyed more gains in that period than 99 percent of the American population. Exclude the top 1 percent, and the average French citizen did better than the average American. This lack of shared prosperity and opportunity has stunted our social progress.

Who wants to take a look at stats themselves, they are available here:

Its interesting seeing different reports like that. Generally I agree with this report - most countries, who should be near the top are there, although there are certain parts of the methodology I would personally disagree with, especially when it comes access to advanced education methodology. I believe some focus should also be set on the costs of different services, availability of them to the lower classes.

edit on 8-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 03:36 AM
It's an interesting report and if I have time I would like to read in full their methodological report. I think though that a list of all countries is not the best way to make comparisons. I think it's more instructive to compare countries with their 'peers', ie countries with similar populations and economy. So for example Italy, UK, France would be peers. Or Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand. However, as USA has no real peers, it can be hard to make comparisons between USA and other countries. It would be interesting to see a similar list drawn up for the 50 states. I'm sure some of them would perform better than the USA as a whole, with others performing worse.

P.S. Here is one statistic from the report which I'm sure will surprise most people. Saudi Arabia is ranked 8th best country in the world in the 'Women treated with respect' category.

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 04:02 AM
The Western democracies are pretty much all the same at the top. China and Russia - those beacons of enlightenment and freedom (joke)are somewhere near the bottom. For those who slight the West, for all their ills, they are better places than the alternatives.


edit on 8/4/2014 by paraphi because: clarification

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 04:32 AM
reply to post by Cabin

Im very surprised Great Britain came in at 13th place considering the immigration issues we are currently experiencing. Never mind any kind of social integration pertaining to said immigrants which just doesn't seem to be happening these days.

Then there is the current problems with our social welfare programs to consider. And the fact that Scotland may very well soon become an independent nation essentially removing the top half of said United Kingdom.

Personally i would have placed the U.K somewhere in the last fifty.

edit on 8-4-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by Cabin

A good look as why America is not #1 anymore.

NSFW - Language

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by Cabin

I love how this is a cartoon for children.

I wonder if it is claimed that this is intended for adults or if it is admittedly directed at minors with a limited geopolitical understanding of the world and life.

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 11:25 AM
reply to post by greencmp

Maybe its not that it's primarily aimed at children, rather its attempting to portray the level of awareness that TPTB deem acceptable to the populace.

Have to remember and drink "There" kool aid or "they" will lock you up for thinking these days. Well maybe not just yet but its in the post!

edit on 8-4-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 8 2014 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by Xcathdra

That dude's answers and opinions expressed in the vid you posted where inspirational! Shame its just fiction.

In anycase im away to dl The News Room as i think i may enjoy the series. Thanks for bringing that one to my attention as i have never gave much thought to watching said show, looks interesting.

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