A new way of measuring progress
Researchers at the Boston Consulting Group have found an alternative to GDP: the Sustainable Economic Development Assessment. The index tracks 160 countries across three elements: economics, sustainability and investment. These elements are made up of 10 dimensions, which include factors such as income equality, health, education and infrastructure.
By measuring how countries perform across all these dimensions, the SEDA establishes which countries are managing – or in some cases failing – to use both their absolute wealth and their economic growth to improve the lives of their citizens. The index not only ranks countries by current levels of well-being, it also looks at how much progress they have made between 2006 and 2014.
So who comes out on top?
The countries featured at the top of the list that tracks current levels of well-being won’t come as a surprise. They include some of the richest nations in the world, such as Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Luxembourg. In fact, the entire top 10 is made up of countries from Western Europe.
But as Bloomberg points out in an analysis of the findings, when it comes to those countries that have been making the most progress since 2006, the results are much more interesting.
“There is an almost opposite result in the recent progress score, where many emerging markets in Asia and Africa have risen to the top, and the nations considered to be the wealthiest in terms of GDP are closer to the bottom.”