Social Progress Index (SPI) 2014

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India languishes at 102nd spot in the recently released 2nd Social Progress Index (SPI) 2014. The index has been topped by New Zealand among a total of 132 nations surveyed.


  • The index made its debut last year (2013) where it ranked 50 countries across the globe.
  • The report has been prepared by not-for-profit American organization Social Progress Imperative.
  • The index ranks countries by their performance on social and environmental indicators  rather than GDP.
  • It believes GDP or other economic output not to be the true depiction of nation's socio-economical development.
  • The report aims to push and guide countries to achieve equitable and sustainable development.


  • All other Brics country performed better than us.
  • Even neighbours like Bangladesh and Nepal edged slightly ahead of us.

Top 5

  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland 
  • Iceland, 
  • Netherlands 
  • Norway 

Major Powers

  • Germany: 12th 
  • United Kingdom: 13th 
  • Japan: 14th 
  • United States: 16th 
  • France: 20th


  • Brazil: 46th (Best in the BRICS)
  • China: 90th
  • South Africa: 69
  • Russia: 80
  • India: 102

Bottom Five (Worst to bad)

  • Chad
  • Central African Republic
  • Burundi
  • Guinea
  • Sudan


  • Sri Lanka: 85th
  • Nepal: 101st
  • Bangladesh: 99
  • Pakistan: 124th

Pakistan deplorably features in the bottom 10 of the list, among mostly Sub-Saharan countries.

Key Points

  • It reveals that economic growth doesn't always translate into social progress despite both being correlated.
  • All the countries were evaluated across 3 dimensions to measure their social progress and well being.
  • There were over 50 indicators scrutinizing each country progress.


The basic human needs 
It has indicators like... 

  • Nutrition and basic medical care 
  • Water and Sanitation 
  • Shelter and personal safety etc.

The foundations of wellbeing 
It has indicators like...

  • Access to basic knowledge 
  • Information and Communications 
  • Health and Wellness 
  • Ecosystem sustainability etc. 

It has indicators like...

  • Personal rights 
  • Freedom and choice 
  • Tolerance and inclusion 
  • Access to education etc.
Practice Questions