Why we shouldn’t judge a country by its GDP
Analysts, reporters and big thinkers love to talk about Gross Domestic Product. Put simply, GDP, which tallies the value of all the goods and services produced by a country each year, has become the yardstick by which we measure a country’s success. But there’s a big, elephant-like problem with that: GDP only accounts for a country’s economic performance, not the happiness or well-being of its citizens. With GDP, if your richest 100 people get richer, your GDP rises … but most of your citizens are just as badly off as they were before. That’s one of the reasons the team that I lead at the Social Progress Imperative launched the Social Progress Index in 2014. Together, these 12 components form the Social Progress framework. Chart 1: The top 68 countries on The Social Progress Index It’s interesting, but not particularly surprising, that the results at the top of the 2015 Index are actually pretty similar to last year’s. Norway topped our list this year. What exactly is driving this?
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• Social, Economic, Political Environments