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NZ tops global social progress index

US-based not-for-profit the Social Progress Imperative has just released the first Social Progress Index, rating 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance, which New Zealand tops across a wide range of measures.

The Index, created by a team led by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, is designed as a complement to GDP and other economic indicators, focusing instead on ‘Basic Human Needs’, ‘Foundations of Wellbeing’ and ‘Opportunity’.

nz number one social progress index 2014What makes us the most socially advanced country, according to the index, is ‘Opportunity’ (particularly when it comes to personal freedoms and rights).

But according to the Social Progress Index, the areas where we could do better include ‘Ecosystem Sustainability’ and some of the measures that underpin ‘Health and Wellness’.

Switzerland and Iceland came in at second and third while Australia ranked 10th (making Oceania the highest-performing region).

The authors have also identified other areas where they say better data would  enhance the measurement of social progress, including the quality/affordability of housing and education, violence against women, treatment for mental health and deforestation.nz number one social progress index 2014?

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