Data Definitions

To be included in the Social Progress Index model, each indicator had to meet two criteria: internal validity (each indicator was carefully evaluated by the team to ensure that the measurement procedures used were reasonable and captured what the indicator purported to measure) and geographic availability (each indicator was required to have coverage for most, if not all, of the countries in our initial sample). We only included indicators that were measured well, with the same methodology, by the same organization, across all, or essentially all, of the countries in our sample.

Basic Human Needs

Nutrition and Basic Medical Care

Do people have enough food to eat and are they receiving basic medical care?

Undernourishment

The percentage of the population whose food intake is insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements continuously. Data showing as 5% signifies a prevalence of undernourishment at or below 5%.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Depth of food deficit

The number of calories needed to lift the undernourished from their status, everything else being constant. The average intensity of food deprivation of the undernourished, estimated as the difference between the average dietary energy requirement and the average dietary energy consumption of the undernourished population (food-deprived), is multiplied by the number of undernourished to provide an estimate of the total food deficit in the country, which is then normalized by the total population.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Maternal mortality rate

The annual number of female deaths from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes) during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, per 100,000 live births.

Source: World Health Organization

Child mortality rate

The probability of a child born in a specific year dying before reaching the age of five per 1,000 live births.

Source: UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation

Deaths from infectious diseases

Age-standardized mortality rate from deaths caused by tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, diarrhea, pertussis, polio, measles, tetanus, meningitis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, malaria, trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, leprosy, dengue, Japanese encephaltitis, trachoma, intestinal infections, and other infectious diseases per 100,000 people.

Source: World Health Organization

Water and Sanitation

Can people drink water and keep themselves clean without getting sick?

Access to piped water

The percentage of the population with a water service pipe connected with in-house plumbing to one or more taps or a piped water connection to a tap placed in the yard or plot outside the house.

Source: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation

Rural access to improved water source

The percentage of the rural population with piped water into dwelling, piped water to yard/plot, public tap or standpipe, tubewell or borehole, protected dug well, protected spring, or rainwater.

Source: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation data

Access to improved sanitation facilities

The percentage of the population with improved sanitation, including flush toilets, piped sewer systems, septic tanks, flush/pour flush to pit latrine, ventilated improved pit latrines (VIP), pit latrine with slab, and composting toilets.

Source: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation

Shelter

Do people have adequate housing with basic utilities?

Availability of affordable housing

The percentage of respondents answering satisfied to the question, "In your city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the availability of good, affordable housing?"

Source: Gallup World Poll

Access to electricity

The percentage of the population with access to electricity.

Source: Sustainable Energy for All

Quality of electricity supply

Average response to the question: "In your country, how would you assess the reliability of the electricity supply (lack of interruptions and lack of voltage fluctuations)? " [1 = not reliable at all; 7 = extremely reliable]

Source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report

Household air pollution attributable deaths

Age standardized deaths caused from indoor air pollution, including indoor air pollution-derived cases of influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, H influenzae type B pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia, other lower respiratory infections, trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers, ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic and other non-ischemic stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cataracts per 100,000 people. In the SPI model, data is scaled from 3 (<30 deaths per 100,000 people) to 1 (>100 deaths per 100,000 people).

Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Personal Safety

Are people able to feel safe?

Homicide rate

Number of homicides, defined as death deliberately inflicted on a person by another person, per 100,000 people. Scored on a 1-5 scale: 1 = 0 – 1.99
2 = 2 – 5.99
3 = 6 – 9.99
4 = 10 – 19.99
5 = > 20

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index

Level of violent crime

Evaluation based on the question: "Is violent crime likely to pose a significant problem for government and/or business over the next two years?" Measured on a scale of 1 (strongly no) to 5 (strongly yes).

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index

Perceived criminality

An assessment of the level of domestic security and the degree to which other citizens can be trusted. Measured on a scale of 1 (majority of other citizens can be trusted) to 5 (very high level of distrust).

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index

Political terror

The level of political violence and terror that a country experiences based on a 5-level "terror scale":
1 = Countries under a secure rule of law, people are not imprisoned for their views, and torture is rare or exceptional. Political murders are extremely rare.
2 = There is a limited amount of imprisonment for nonviolent political activity. However, few persons are affected; torture and beatings are exceptional. Political murder is rare.
3 = There is extensive political imprisonment or a recent history of such imprisonment. Execution or other political murders and brutality may be common. Unlimited detention, with or without a trial, for political views is accepted.
4 = Civil and political rights violations have expanded to large numbers of the population. Murders, disappearances, and torture are a common part of life. In spite of its generality, on this level terror affects those who interest themselves in politics or ideas.
5 = Terror has expanded to the whole population. The leaders of these societies place no limits on the means or thoroughness with which they pursue personal or ideological goals.

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index

Traffic deaths

Estimated road traffic fatal injury deaths per 100 000 population.

Source: World Health Organization

Foundations of Wellbeing

Access to Basic Knowledge

Do people have the educational foundations to improve their lives?

Adult literacy rate

The percentage of the population aged 15 and above who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life. Literacy also encompasses numeracy, the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations.

Source: UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics

Primary school enrollment

The ratio of the number of children of the official primary school age who are enrolled in primary school to the total population of official primary school age children.

Source: UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics

Lower secondary school enrollment

Total enrollment in lower secondary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the total population of official lower secondary education age. The gross enrollment ratio can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over-aged and under-aged students because of early or late school entrance and grade repetition. In the SPI model, data are capped at 100.

Source: UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics

Upper secondary school enrollment

Total enrollment in upper secondary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the total population of official upper secondary education age. In the SPI model, data are capped at 100.

Source: UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics

Gender parity in secondary enrollment

The ratio of girls to boys enrolled at the secondary level in public and private schools. In the SPI model, data are capped at 1.0.

Source: UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics

Access to Information and Communications

Can people freely access ideas and information from anywhere in the world?

Mobile telephone subscriptions

Subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, including the number of pre-paid SIM cards active during the past three months, expressed as the number of mobile telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. In the SPI model, scores are capped at 100 mobile telephones per 100 people.

Source: International Telecommunications Union

Internet users

The estimated number of Internet users out of the total population, using the Internet from any device (including mobile phones) in the last 12 months.

Source: International Telecommunications Union

Press Freedom Index

The degree of freedom that journalists, news organizations, and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Health and Wellness

Do people live long and healthy lives?

Life expectancy

The number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.

Source: World Bank

Premature deaths from non-communicable diseases

The probability of dying between the ages 30 and 70 from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or chronic respiratory disease.

Source: World Health Organization

Obesity rate

The percentage of the population with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher (age-standardized estimate), both sexes.

Source: World Health Organization

Outdoor air pollution attributable deaths

The number of deaths resulting from emissions from industrial activity, households, cars and trucks, expressed as the rate per 100,000 people.

Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Suicide rate

Mortality due to self-inflicted injury, per 100,000 people, age adjusted.

Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Ecosystem Sustainability

Is the country using its resources so they will be available to future generations?

Greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) expressed in CO2 equivalents using 100 year global warming potentials found in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Second Assessment Report per GDP-PPP. In the SPI model, data is scaled from 0 to 4: 4: < 100
3: 100 – 200
2: 200 – 1000
1: 1000 – 2000
0: > 2000

Source: World Resources Institute

Water withdrawals as a percentage of resources

Baseline water stress or the ratio of total annual water withdrawals to total available annual renewable supply, scaled from 0 to 5.
4–5: Extremely high stress (>80%)
3–4: High stress (40–80%)
2–3: Medium-high stress (20–40%)
1–2: Low-medium stress (10–20%)
0–1: Low stress (<10%)

Source: World Resources Institute

Biodiversity and habitat

The protection of terrestrial and marine areas as well as threatened or endangered species, comprising Critical Habitat Protection, Terrestrial Protected Areas (National Biome Weight), Terrestrial Protected Areas (Global Biome Weight), and Marine Protected Areas, scaled from 0 (no protection) to 100 (high protection).

Source: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and Columbia Uni

Opportunity

Personal Rights

Are people free of restrictions on their rights?

Political rights

An evaluation of three subcategories of political rights: electoral process, political pluralism and participation, and functioning of government on a scale from 1 (full political rights) to 7 (no political rights).

Source: Freedom House

Freedom of speech

The extent to which freedoms of speech and press are affected by government censorship, including ownership of media outlets, measured on a scale of 0 (government censorship of the media was complete) to 2 (no government censorship of the media in a given year).

Source: Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Data Project

Freedom of assembly/association

The extent to which freedoms of assembly and association are subject to actual governmental limitations or restrictions (as opposed to strictly legal protections), measured on a scale of 0 (rights severely restricted or denied completely to all citizens) to 2 (rights virtually unrestricted and freely enjoyed by practically all citizens).

Source: Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Data Projec

Freedom of movement

The sum of the two following variables:
Freedom of Foreign Movement: Citizens' freedom to leave and return to their country, measured on a scale of 0 (freedom was severely restricted) to 2 (unrestricted freedom of foreign movement)
Freedom of Domestic Movement: Citizens' freedom to travel within their own country, measured on a scale of 0 (freedom was severely restricted) to 2 (unrestricted freedom of domestic movement).

Source: Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Data Project

Private property rights

The degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and the degree to which its government enforces those laws, measured on a scale of 0 (private property is outlawed, all property belongs to the state; people do not have the right to sue others and do not have access to the courts; corruption is endemic) to 100 (private property is guaranteed by the government; the court system enforces contracts efficiently and quickly; the justice system punishes those who unlawfully confiscate private property; there is no corruption or expropriation).

Source: Heritage Foundation

Personal Freedom and Choice

Are people free of restrictions on personal decisions?

Freedom over life choices

The percentage of respondents answering satisfied to the question, "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?"

Source: Gallup World Poll

Freedom of religion

A combined measure of 20 types of restrictions, including efforts by governments to ban particular faiths, prohibit conversions, limit preaching or give preferential treatment to one or more religious groups. In the SPI model, scores range from 1 (low freedom) to 4 (very high freedom).

Source: Pew Research Center Government Restrictions Index

Early marriage

The percentage of women married between 15-19 years of age.

Source: OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Database

Satisfied demand for contraception

The percentage of total demand for family planning among married or in-union women aged 15 to 49 that is satisfied with modern methods.

Source: United Nations Population Division

Corruption

The perceived level of public sector corruption based on expert opinion, measured on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Source: Transparency International

Tolerance and Inclusion

Is no one excluded from the opportunity to be a contributing member of society?

Tolerance for immigrants

The percentage of respondents answering yes to the question, "Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for immigrants from other countries?"

Source: Gallup World Poll

Tolerance for homosexuals

The percentage of respondents answering yes to the question, "Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay or lesbian people?"

Source: Gallup World Poll

Discrimination and violence against minorities

Group Grievance indicator. Discrimination, powerlessness, ethnic violence, communal violence, sectarian violence, and religious violence, measured on a scale on 0 (low pressures) to 10 (very high pressures).

Source: Fund for Peace Fragile States Index

Religious tolerance

A measure of 13 types of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society, including religion-related armed conflict or terrorism, mob or sectarian violence, harassment over attire for religious reasons or other religion-related intimation or abuse. In the SPI model, scores range from 1 (low) to 4 (very high).

Source: Pew Research Center Social Hostilities Index

Community safety net

The percentage of respondents answering yes to the question, "If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?"

Source: Gallup World Poll

Access to Advanced Education

Do people have the opportunity to achieve high levels of education?

Years of tertiary schooling

The average years of tertiary education completed among people over age 25.

Source: Barro-Lee Educational Attainment Dataset

Women's average years in school

The average number of years of school attended by women between 25 and 34 years old, including primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Inequality in the attainment of education

The loss in potential education due to inequality, calculated as the percentage difference between the Human Development Index Education Index, which comprises mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling, and the Inequality-adjusted Education Index.

Source: United Nations Development Programme

Globally ranked universities

The number of universities ranked on any of the three most widely used international university rankings, measured on a scale from 0 (no ranked universities) to 5 (more than 50 ranked universities).

Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and Academic Ranking of World Universities