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T&T ranks 47 in Social Progress Index

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A new Social Progress Index (SPI) report has found that countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have “exceeded expectations” by over-performing on social indicators, but placed T&T at 47 out of 132 countries measured. In a media release yesterday, vice chair of the board of the Social Progress Imperative, Roberto Artavia, said Caribbean countries were demonstrating “impressive social progress.”


“However, one of the most compelling findings is the extent to which personal safety problems blight the region—an ongoing and acute issue for many citizens across Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said. The indices were highlighted on Thursday at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The index also found countries in Latin America and the Caribbean scored poorly across a number of measures especially the issue of personal safety and access to higher education.


“The index which measures social progress strictly using outcomes of success does not consider how much effort a country makes. For instance, how much a country spends on healthcare is much less important than the health and wellness actually achieved by that country. Hence, economic development alone is an incomplete strategy,” the report stated. Executive director of the Social Progress Imperative Michael Green said the economic growth did not automatically lead to social progress. 


“The Social Progress Index shows that if we are to tackle problems such as poverty and inequality economic growth alone is not enough,” Green said. The SPI showed a disparity between a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) ranking and its social progress ranking, which made T&T the “most under-performing country in the region.” 


“Some of the wealthiest nations, USA 16th fell behind Canada seventh and Australia tenth, were shown to be struggling with the environmental component of social progress and despite a lower level of per capita GDP, Jamaica performs better than China on the index,” the report stated.