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Canada Ranks 6th in the World!!

Every year countries around the world announce their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the traditional measure used by economists to determine progress. Increase in GDP is a good thing – but it isn’t the whole story. Economic prosperity and strength does not necessarily make for a healthy society. That is, good GDP numbers do not necessarily translate into a good society with opportunities for the population as a whole.

A new index, the Social Progress Index, created by Harvard economics professor Michael Porter, provides more information along with the GDP numbers to complete the story. It tracks 52 indicators including everything from gender equality, availability of education, crime rates, and literacy rates and so on.

These index results provide the big picture – are people’s lives improving from year to year? There is more interest around “inclusive growth and shared prosperity” than simple GDP numbers. Countries with similar GDP numbers can have very different levels of social progress.

The good news here – Canada shines! Ranking as the sixth most socially advanced country in the world, we excel in areas such as ‘political rights, freedom of assembly and tolerance for immigrants and religious minorities.’ Canada’s women spend on average more years in school than those in other countries, we have good universities and low rates of violent crimes.

Canada ‘has a particular strength in opportunity.’ And it is opportunity that plays a key role in your satisfaction with your life on the whole. Opportunity really reflects what matters and can be the defining difference which makes for a good society.

2015 Social progress index

SPI rank SPI score Country
1 88.36 Norway
2 88.06 Sweden
3 87.97 Switzerland
4 87.62 Iceland
5 87.08 New Zealand
6 86.89 Canada
7 86.75 Finland
8 86.63 Denmark
9 86.5 Netherlands
10 86.42 Australia


Source: The Globe and Mail

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