Aus­tralia ranked world’s 10th most so­cially ad­vanced coun­try

Business First - - NEWS -

Aus­tralia is the world’s 10th most so­cially ad­vanced na­tion ac­cord­ing to a ma­jor new global in­dex pub­lished by US-based non­profit, the So­cial Progress Im­per­a­tive, and re­leased at the 2014 Skoll World Fo­rum on So­cial En­trepreneur­ship. Aus­tralia fin­ished be­hind top per­form­ing New Zealand and other coun­tries in­clud­ing Canada and Nor­way, but fin­ished ahead of Ger­many, the United States and France – ac­cord­ing to the So­cial Progress In­dex 2014 which ranks 132 coun­tries based on their so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance.

The So­cial Progress 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 to pro­vide a more holis­tic un­der­stand­ing of coun­tries’ over­all per­for­mance. The full, in­ter­ac­tive dataset from the In­dex is be avail­able at http://www.so­cial­pro­gres­sim­per­a­tive.org/data/spi

Mea­sur­ing a coun­try’s so­cial progress out­comes the In­dex also iden­ti­fies the ar­eas in which Aus­tralia is un­der-per­form­ing com­pared to coun­tries with a com­pa­ra­ble GDP per capita.

Aus­tralia un­der-per­forms on the mea­sure of ‘Shel­ter’ (18th glob­ally), thanks partly to the qual­ity of its elec­tric­ity sup­ply, but scores well on ‘Per­sonal Rights’ (2nd glob­ally) and well on the mea­sure of ‘Health and Well­ness’ (5th), be­hind Ja­pan (1st) and Italy (2nd), but ahead of the UK (37th), the United States (70th) and Canada (13th). This is thanks partly to a high life ex­pectancy–on aver­age Aus­tralians will live to al­most 82 years old (the 6th high­est coun­try for life ex­pectancy glob­ally).

Pro­fes­sor Michael E. Porter said: “Un­til now, the as­sump­tion has been that there is a di­rect re­la­tion­ship be­tween eco­nomic growth and well­be­ing. How­ever, the So­cial Progress In­dex finds that all eco­nomic growth is not equal. 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.”

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