Learning and Teaching Sustainability

Social Progress Index vs. GDP

In this episode, Laura and Adam explain what the Social Progress Index is and how it compares to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a measure of a countries health and well-being. GDP is a sum of the value of all goods and services produced in a given country. “The Social Progress Index is an aggregate index of social and environmental indicators that capture three dimensions of social progress: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity.” See https://www.socialprogressindex.com/methodology for more detailed information. Including but not limited to: results, data definitions, methodology and the scores for all 128 countries included in the index.

GDP is not a proper gauge for the well-being of a country, as it does not wholly consider the people within. GDP is purely an economic measurement, where as Social Progress Index takes into account important indicators such as access to clean water, availability of affordable housing, air pollution, tolerance for immigration, suicide rates and traffic deaths.

Links from the show

2017 Social Progress Index: https://www.socialprogressindex.com/

About the author: Adam Cunningham

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