Social progress Index 2015

The Social Progress Index for 2015 is out. It is a comprehensive assessment of a country’s social progress.

NZ has a score of 87.08 out of 100, which is 5th highest in the world. This is a small increase from 86.93 which NZ got in 2014 based on the 2015 criteria. The original 2014 index had NZ in 1st place, but they have changed their methodology and we would have been 5th last year on the revised methodology.

The top 10 are:

  1. Nowway 88.36
  2. Sweden 88.06
  3. Switzerland 87.97
  4. Iceland 87.62
  5. New Zealand 87.08
  6. Canada 86.89
  7. Finland 86.75
  8. Denmark 86.63
  9. Netherlands 86.50
  10. Australia 86.42

You can see the scores above. They also compare our relative strengths and weaknesses with 15 other countries with a similar GDP per capita (Belgium, Finland, France, Japan, Korea, Spain, UK). The relative strengths are:

  • Press freedom
  • Freedom of speech
  • Private property rights
  • Freedom over life choices
  • Low corruption
  • Tolerance for immigrants
  • Tolerance for homosexuals
  • Community safety net

The relative weaknesses are:

  • Child mortality rate
  • Obesity rate
  • Suicide rate
  • Water withdrawals
  • Early marriage

The Herald reports:

But the think-tank’s director Michael Green said New Zealand still outperformed all other developed countries in its social progress relative to its economic performance. New Zealand’s economic ranking was only 23rd, with a gross domestic product of US$32,808 or barely half of Norway’s US$62,448, yet its level of social progress (87.08 on the index) was almost as high as Norway’s (88.36).

“Only Sweden, of the OECD countries, is another outperformer, and New Zealand is a much bigger outperformer than Sweden. New Zealand is a world leader in social progress outperforming,” Mr Green said.

Worth remembering this when some people try to paint NZ as a backwards hellhole, which doesn’t invest enough in supporting people.

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