Major economies trail Norway in social progress index - researchers - TRFN
By Joseph D'Urso
LONDON, April 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Poverty is more important than inequality in holding back "social progress", a broad measure of what makes a country a good place to live, researchers said on Thursday, releasing data ranking Norway first and the Central African Republic last.
Healthcare, education and freedoms are factored into the "social progress index" (SPI), as well as access to food, water and shelter. The index, which gives data for 133 countries, is an alternative to GDP, a measure of economic output.
After Norway at the top of the rankings in the 2015 index came Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland. Lowest ranked after the Central African Republic were Chad, Afghanistan and Guinea.
GDP IS NOT DESTINY
Last year's leader, New Zealand, which has half of Norway's GDP per person, came fifth. Given the huge disparity in wealth between Norway and New Zealand, the latter vastly "overperforms" in social progress terms.
"GDP is not destiny," said the Social Progress Imperative, which published the index. Costa Rica is ranked above Italy, which has double the GDP per head.
Uruguay, Mauritius and Senegal also have a higher SPI than might be expected given their wealth, while Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iraq are "underperformers". Continuación...