Nepal – with a score of 51.58 points – ranks 101st among 132 countries in the Social Progress Index 2014.

Published by Washington-based The Social Progress Imperative today, the report ranked New Zealand first in the global index that ranks countries by social and environmental performance rather than economic output in a drive to make social progress a priority for politicians and businesses.

The Social Progress Index 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 Social Progress Index – created by a team led by Professor Michael E Porter of Harvard Business School – is designed as a complement to gross domestic product (GDP) and other economic indicators to provide a more holistic understanding of countries’ overall performance.

“Until now, the assumption has been that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and well being,” Professor Michael E Porter of the Social Progress Initiative said. “However, the Social Progress Index finds that all economic growth is not equal,” he said, “While higher GDP per capita is correlated with social progress, the connection is far from automatic. For similar levels of GDP, we find that some countries achieve much higher levels of social progress than others.”SPI.1

In Basic Human Needs Dimension, Nepal does best in nutrition and basic medical care and has the greatest opportunity to improve human well being by focusing more on shelter, the report revealed, adding that Nepal excels at providing building blocks for people’s lives such as access to basic knowledge but would benefit from greater investment in access to information and communications under the Foundations of Well being Dimension.

Under Opportunity Dimension, Nepal outperforms in providing opportunities for people to improve their position in society and scores highly in personal freedom and choice yet falls short in access to advanced education, it added.

India ranked 102 with 50.24 score where China ranked 90 with 58.67 score in the index that ranked New Zealand first with 88.24 score, followed by Switzerland with 88.19, Iceland with 88.07, the Netherlands with 87.37 and Norway with 87.12 score.

“Economic growth does not automatically lead to social progress,” executive director of the Social Progress Imperative Michael Green said, adding that the Social Progress Index shows that if we are to tackle problems like poverty and inequality economic growth alone is not enough.

Social Progress Indicator
Index: 101st, (51.58 score)
Opportunity: 115th (37.49 score)
Foundations of Well being: 98th (60.12 score)

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