Press & Media

The Social Progress Imperative seeks to increase awareness of our data and to facilitate action by engaging with media to amplify our messages.

Press Releases


29 Jun 2016

Reykjavik the First City in Europe to Use Social Progress Index to Advance Wellbeing for All Residents

28 Apr 2016

Costa Rica lanza nueva plataforma para impulsar innovaciones sociales

7 Mar 2016

Social Progress Imperative and INCAE Business School Come Together to Promote Social Progress in Central America

1 Mar 2016

Mentioned In

Please find our most recent and most important media coverage listed here.


“The Social Progress Index can help the world rise to this challenge. Rather than looking simply at which countries have the highest scores (“getting to Denmark” or, in the case of the 2016 index, “getting to Finland”), we can look at which countries are over-performing relative to countries with similar GDP per capita. Through this lens, the world looks rather different. Some of top performing countries relative to their GDP per capita are Costa Rica, New Zealand, Nepal and Malawi; the underperformers include China, the United States, and Russia.”

1 Jul 2016



“The nations above the trend line punch well above their weight in delivering services and promoting equal and tolerant societies relative to their wealth. But because the line shows the statistical relationship between GDP and SPI scores, it is skewed by the wealth of the Gulf states. Thus the authors also benchmark the performance of a country relative to the 15 countries closest to it in GDP. On this measure, 19 countries overperform; Costa Rica and Uruguay do particularly well. Latin American countries’ efforts to build democratic institutions that include human rights have helped the region considerably. Oil- and resource-rich Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the worst of the 35 underperforming nations, and fall spectacularly below the average owing to closed and restrictive cultures and poor scores on religious tolerance and personal freedom. The United States underperforms by around 5 points, between Venezuela and Egypt.”

29 Jun 2016


financial times

“This year’s Social Progress Index, calculated by the Social Progress Imperative, is inevitably topped by Norway. However, Costa Rica is the biggest overachiever: the country with most social progress relative to income. The average Costa Rican has about one-eighth of the income of the average American (according to the World Bank) yet lives a year longer, to age 80. Costa Rica also scores high on freedom of life choices, health, tolerance and lack of corruption. Its citizens report impressive life satisfaction. ‘This is not Shangri-La,’ cautions Roberto Artavia, Costa Rican vice-chair of the Social Progress Imperative. But Costa Rica’s success is genuine, and much of it is replicable.”

7 Aug 2015

Financial Times


“Numai în primele luni ale anului 2015, rezervele Băncii Naționale a Moldovei au fost sărăcite cu 20%, iar potrivit unui clasament realizat de „Social Progress Imperative”, cu sediul la Londra, moldovenii trăiesc chiar mai rău decât unele țări aflate în faliment. Mai grav, în 2015 situația se va complica și mai mult. Potrivit premierului Chiril Gaburici, în anul curent Produsul Intern Brut al Moldovei va scădea cu 1% (Banca Mondială anticipează o scădere a PIB cu 2%), inflația va constitui 6,4%, iar exporturile se vor diminua cu 10%.”

14 Apr 2015

Deutsche Welle


“Healthcare, education and freedoms are factored into the “social progress index” (SPI), as well as access to food, water and shelter. The index, which gives data for 133 countries, is an alternative to GDP, a measure of economic output.”

9 Apr 2015