Social progress and positive peace


The results are in. The Social Progress Index has just released a list of rankings showing 132 countries that are progressing or regressing according to indicators of social progress.

It comes as no surprise that countries that perform well on the Pillars of Peace, also perform well on the Social Progress Index. In fact, 9 of the 10 countries that have the best scores for the Social Progress Index, are the same as those that perform the best globally for strong Pillars of Peace. They are Denmark, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia.

How do you measure social progress?

The Social Progress Index uses indicators of social and environmental wellbeing, and does not include indicators of economic growth and development. By excluding economic indicators, the Index hopes to provide a platform to analyse the relationship between economic development and social development.

The Index is comprised of 54 indicators that make up three key categories of social progress: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity.

How do you measure positive peace?

Positive peace can be understood as the structures, attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies. The Pillars of Peace, a framework produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, identifies eight key “pillars” of peace that provide the foundations for peaceful societies.

Where does economics fit into all of this?

Measures of social progress and positive peace do not attempt to replace economic measures of well-being, but to argue that investing in the foundations of peace, social and environmental development will boost not only wellbeing, but also economic prosperity. 

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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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