The Social Progress Index offers a tool to bring together a comprehensive set of social outcome measures in a transparent way. It allows individual countries to identify specific areas of strength or weakness in terms of social progress, as well as to benchmark themselves against peer countries both at the level of individual indicators as well as overall.
The three different dimensions of the model—Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity—are each weighted equally in the overall index; each of these dimensions is calculated as the sum of four components, each of which is equally weighted. Finally, each component is based on a varying number of individual indicators of social progress within that component. The component scores are calculated using a procedure called principal component factor analysis, which allows one to calculate an aggregate score from multiple indicators related to a common concept.
This overall definition can be disaggregated into three dimensions of social progress, that define the basic architecture of the model:
1 / Basic Human Needs: Does a country provide for its people’s most essential needs?
2 / Foundations of Wellbeing: Are the building blocks in place for individuals and communities to enhance and sustain wellbeing?
3 / Opportunity: Is there opportunity for all individuals to reach their full potential?