The Social Progress Index was published on April 2, 2014. It was created by an independent, not for profit org called the Social Progress Imperative—directed by Michael Green and sponsored by the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Social Progress Imperative defines Social Progress like this: “the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.”
This index reflects that the USA ranks 16th in terms of liveability and 70th in health in all 132 nations of the world. Although we excel in access to advanced education, we rank 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety. Those who worked on developing the Index for 2 years based their data on reports of suicide, property rights, school attendance, attitudes toward immigrants and minorities, opportunity for women, religious freedom, nutrition, electrification and much more.
Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, put it this way: “We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.” Kristof reflects that those who back the Republicans in proposed cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and public services in order to boost America’s competitiveness, may wish to rethink their argument. The Social Progress Report Index indicates that these cuts would only weaken America more.
Do you want to see what it looks like to live in a country that supports its citizens through social progress? Check out the brief 3 min video on this page: http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/about/the-imperative