10 April 2015

The Countries With The Highest ‘National Well-Being’

How do we know if a nation is bettering the lives of its people? Economic measures like gross domestic product (GDP) only tell you about the level of economic activity and is a rather crude way to judge countries.

The Social Progress Index is a new and more nuanced way to look at national progress. While the US has the world's top GDP, this index ranks it at 16th place, due to its flaws in health and wellness, access to education and personal safety measurement categories.

European countries like Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are top three on the index, and Michael Green, founder of the Social Progress Index explains the lack of an extensive "safety net" as the main failing of the US. For social progress, countries should seek to improve the lives of the poorest.

Find out more here or at the Social Progress Index website.

Social Progress Index Scores plotted against GDP

Social Progress Index scores versus poverty rate

[via Fast Company, Social Progress Imperative]