Currently, most countries use GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as the measure to determine a country's health and well-being. GDP is the sum value of all goods and services produced. Common sense tells us that an indicator with such a narrow scope, one that considers only economic growth, cannot completely determine the health and well-being of a country.

This is where the Social Progress Index can be more useful. The Social Progress Index takes into consideration Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. A total of 50 indicators are used to rank 128 countries. The United States ranks 3rd in GDP and 18th in Social Progress Index.