The Social Progress Index is the result of a two-year process guided by a stellar team of experts which includes, among the others, renowned economists Hernando de Soto and Michael Porter and the president of The Rockefeller Foundation Dr. Judith Rodin. The Index synthesizes a huge body of research to identify the dimensions of performance of societies and measure the social progress comprehensively and rigorously.
The Index has been structured around 12 components and 54 distinct indicators consolidated into three dimensions of Social Progress: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. The first dimension, Basic Human Needs, assesses how well a country provides for its people’s essential needs by measuring whether people have enough food and are receiving basic medical care, if they have access to safe drinking water, if they have access to adequate housing with basic utilities, and if they are safe and secure.
Foundations of Wellbeing measures whether a population has access to basic education, ideas and information from both inside and outside their own country, and if they have more than basic healthcare and can live healthy lives. This dimension also measures a country’s protection of air, water, and land, resources critical for current and future wellbeing.
The final dimension, Opportunity, measures the degree to which a country’s population is free of restrictions on its rights and its people are able to make their own personal decisions, and whether prejudices or hostilities within a society prohibit individuals from reaching their potential. This dimension also includes the degree to which advanced education is accessible to all those in a country who wish to further their knowledge and skills.
Together, this interrelated set of factors produce a given level of social progress as an overall index score.
You can explore various countries' developments by selecting the desired index component or indicator in the table. Use the map to select the country of interest and see its detailed socioeconomic profile
Times Higher Education recognized the University of Oxford as the world's top university of 2017, snatching the top spot away from the California Institute of Technology, which had held the top rank since 2012 when it displaced Harvard University. This is the first year in the history of this ranking that a university from the UK has held the top spot. The World University Ranking by the Times Higher Education assesses research-intensive universities of different countries around the world across four key missions: research, teaching, spreading new knowledge, and international outlook. Use the charts below to explore the most recent data...
The world's top economies increasingly depend on skilled workers, with college graduates in high demand. A report from the research firm PayScale provides calculations on the returns to higher education in US universities. Its authors compare the career earnings of college graduates with the present-day cost of a degree at their universities. Top universities may be growing ever more selective, but the returns on a college degree still depend far more on field of study than the choosiness of the university itself, according to PayScale. Engineering and computer-science students earn most, achieving an impressive 20-year annualised return...
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Educating a student costs a lot of money, but incarcerating someone in the United States costs much more because of the required 24/7 care and supervision of prisoners. The data from the 40 US states with operating prisons in 2010 reveals just how much money the US government spent on the incarcerated in contrast to elementary/secondary school students. Sources: Vera Institute of Justice; US Census Bureau.