The 2015 women’s world cup just ended and the U.S. came out on top. However, when we look at the social progress of the same countries that competed in this year’s world cup, Norway wins out as the most socially progressive nation. The two teams that competed in the final this year, Japan and the U.S., rank 10th and 11th, respectively.
Social Progress, as measured by the Social Progress Index, measures how well nations meet the needs of its citizens. The Social Progress Index is made up of three domains: basic human needs, foundations of well-being and opportunity. The basic human needs domain consists of nutrition and basic medical care, water and sanitation, shelter and personal safety. The foundations of well-being domain consists of access to basic knowledge, access to information and communications, health and wellness and ecosystem sustainability. The opportunity domain consists of personal rights, personal freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion and access to advanced education.
In the figure below, the countries competing in this year’s women’s World Cup are plotted along the Y-axis, ranked from top to bottom. The most socially progressive countries (e.g. Norway) appear at the top of the y-axis and the least socially progressive countries (e.g. Nigeria) fall at the bottom. Along the x-axis is the Social Progress Index, which can range from 0 to 100. The minimum for this sample of countries is 43.3 and the maximum is 88.4.
Countries ranked according to the 2015 Social Progress Index
Note: There is not enough publicly available data to calculate the social progress index for Côte d’Ivoire.
Source: 2015 Social Progress Index http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/