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Social Progress Index Time Series


The Social Progress Index Time Series is the most expansive review of social progress ever undertaken. It measures the social outcomes of 170 countries from 1990 to 2020 using 52 indicators across the 12 components that make up the Social Progress Index.

This extensive new data set enables you to:

  • Evaluate the overall quality of life in a country or region to gain a deeper understanding of the social and environmental performance.
  • Track the performance of a country over 30 years to determine how and where the country is making progress in achieving its social and environmental goals.
  • Analyze the relationship between economic development and social progress.
  • Learn how an economic downturn impacts different social outcomes.
  • Identify which areas of investment in a society yield the greatest social and economic results.
  • Measure the impact of large scale significant events, from wars to pandemics, to prepare and respond to future global and local shocks.

World progress by region


Contact us today for subscription access to the premium visualization which includes additional analysis and downloadable datasets. With premium access you are able to:


Access methodology report

Methodology Report
  • Learn how a country score has changed over time.

  • Download the complete data set.

  • Access the full methodology report.

  • Conduct deeper analysis using the indicator level data.

  • Compare how a country’s rank has changed since 1990.

  • Discover rich country profile data for the 31 year period.

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Social Progress Index Time Series: a tool for different sectors

  • Investors can use the Social Progress Index Time Series as a tool to assess the social and environmental performance of countries. It can provide valuable insights for those looking to align their investments with their social and environmental values, while managing risk and identifying opportunities, particularly in the context of sovereign wealth funds where long-term sustainability is a critical consideration.


    • Identify countries with improving and stable social progress: The Time Series can help investors identify countries whose social progress has improved significantly over the past 30 years, which may be attractive for investment. Countries that rank highly tend to have more stable political systems, higher levels of economic growth, and lower levels of social unrest.
    • Evaluate risk: Investors can evaluate the risk of investing in a particular country. A country with low or volatile social progress may be more prone to social unrest, political instability, and environmental degradation, which can increase risk.
    • Select investment opportunities: Investors can select opportunities that align with their social and environmental values, enabling them to support sustainable and socially responsible economic development.
  • The Social Progress Index Time Series is an opportunity to provide policymakers with valuable insights into the progress of their country and the impact of policies over time. It creates an opportunity for engagement from communities, business and other key stakeholders, to address the areas of greatest need, to set goals, track progress and identify areas for improvement. The index provides a way to measure and track progress over time and helps to demonstrate transparency.

    • Identify trends: By analyzing the social progress index over 31 years, policymakers can identify trends and patterns in social progress within their country. This information can help them to identify areas where progress has been made, areas that are stagnant, and areas that are in decline.

    • Evaluate policy impact: Policymakers can use the social progress index to evaluate the impact of policies over time. By comparing social progress index scores before and after the implementation of a policy, policymakers can determine whether the policy had the desired effect on social progress.

    • Set goals: Policymakers can use the social progress index to set goals for the future. By looking at areas where progress has been slow, they can set targets for improvement and use the social progress index to track progress towards those targets over time.

  • The Social Progress Index Time Series enables corporate leaders to track progress and identify trends in the social and environmental well-being of the countries in which they operate. By better understanding the needs of their workers and consumers they can create practices and programs that have a positive impact.


    • Strategic planning: The 31 year time series can help corporate leaders understand the trajectory of social progress in a country and identify areas where their company can have the most impact. This can inform strategic planning and resource allocation decisions.
    • Evaluate risk: Understanding the social and environmental factors that contribute to well-being can help corporates identify and mitigate risks associated with their operations.
    • Engage stakeholders: The Social Progress Index provides a common language and framework for engaging with stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs, and investors. Corporates can use the data to demonstrate their impact and identify areas for collaboration with other stakeholders.
  • Nonprofits can use the 31 year Social Progress Index Time Series to track progress and identify areas of need for their programs and services. By examining changes in social progress over time, nonprofits can monitor progress, inform program design and use it to advocate for social change.

    • Identify trends: Nonprofits can use the time series data to identify long-term trends in social progress and use this information to plan their programs and services. They can identify areas where progress has been slow or stagnant and work to address these issues.
    • Advocacy and fundraising: Nonprofits can use the time series data to advocate for policy changes and funding to support their work. They can use the data to demonstrate the importance of their mission and the impact they have had over time.
    • Collaboration and partnerships: The Time Series can be a valuable resource for nonprofits seeking to collaborate and form partnerships with other organizations, governments, or businesses. Through the lens of this data organizations can align their efforts, pool resources, and develop comprehensive strategies to address complex social challenges together.
  • The richness and volume of the 31 year Social Progress Index Time Series lends itself to supporting the work of academics across many disciplines. This includes international development,  economics, political science, public policy, sociology, geography and environmental studies. The index provides a valuable tool for interdisciplinary research, as it can be used to compare the social progress of different countries or regions over time and across multiple dimensions.

    • Research: Social progress data can be used as a valuable source of information for academic research. For example, researchers could use the time series data to analyze trends in social progress over time, or to investigate the impact of specific policies or interventions on social progress, or to analyze relationships between social progress and other concepts.
    • Teaching: Social progress data can be used as a teaching tool in academic courses related to social and economic development. Educators can use the data to illustrate key concepts and theories related to development, and to help students understand how social progress is measured and evaluated.
    • Advocacy: Academic researchers can use social progress data to advocate for specific policies or interventions aimed at improving social progress outcomes. By analyzing the data and identifying areas where progress has been slow or stagnant, researchers can make evidence-based arguments for why specific policies or interventions are needed.


  • The media can use the index in their reporting across many different disciplines that includes health, education, the environment, policy, human rights and more. They can identify patterns and the relationship between different areas of social progress, and use data journalism and visualizations to bring this important information to the attention of the public.

    • Storytelling: The Social Progress Index Time Series is a powerful storytelling tool for journalists, enabling them to highlight the human impact of social and environmental issues. By using the index to show how different countries changed over 31 years in areas such as health, education, and access to basic needs, journalists can draw attention to the experiences of individuals and communities affected by these issues.
    • Accountability: The Social Progress Index Time Series can also be used to hold governments and other institutions accountable for progress or lack thereof since 1990. Journalists can use the index to assess whether governments are delivering on their promises and commitments to improve social and environmental outcomes.
    • Advocacy: Journalists can use the time series to advocate for policies and actions that will improve social and environmental outcomes. By highlighting areas where progress is needed and identifying best practices and success stories from around the world, journalists can help to build public support for positive change.


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