Recently, the Economist, a British weekly magazine, compiled a chart to assess whether citizens in each country are thriving, making progress, or regressing.

The dataset, published on Wednesday (24 May) by the Social Progress Imperative, a non-profit organization, aims to demonstrate how prosperity translates into well-being.

The Social Progress Index (SPI) go beyond GDP, which is conventionally used to measure a country’s economy, and ranks 170 countries based on their ability to provide for their citizens, utilizing metrics other than wealth.

Instead, it tracks 52 indicators and categorizes them equally into three categories: basic human needs (such as food and water), foundations for long-term development (education and healthcare), and “opportunity” (including personal rights and freedoms).

The Economist highlighted that the index suggests a connection between wealth and well-being: wealthier countries tend to have thriving citizens, while conditions are worse in poorer nations.

However, the data also reveal that countries that have made significant progress in certain areas, such as meeting basic needs, often fall short in other aspects, particularly in safeguarding and expanding freedoms for their citizens.

In the SPI’s findings for 2022, Norway emerged as the top-ranked country with a score of 90.7, while South Sudan found itself at the bottom of the list.

Singapore ranks below Japan and South Korea on the index

As a developed country, Singapore ranked 35, which is significantly lower than the rankings of the United States at 31 and Britain at 19.

Other developed countries in East Asia, including Japan, ranked 16, South Korea ranked 20. Both countries scored 92 and 89 respectively for the aspect of “Foundation for development”, while Singapore scored 86 for the category.

The index featured Time Series as the most expansive review of social progress measures the social outcomes of 170 countries from 1990 to 2020.

SPI data reveals Singapore is ‘underperforming’ in providing opportunities to its citizens

Upon checking on the Social Progress Imperative’s official website, which generated the scorecard for Singapore, it becomes apparent that Singapore scored relatively well in meeting basic human needs.

However, the index sheds light on the country’s “underperformance” in providing opportunities to its citizens, with an overall score of 72.68, ranking it 41st among other nations.

Unfortunately, Singapore received low scores in safeguarding its citizens’ personal rights, scoring only 65.07 and ranking 103 compared to other countries.

For instance, Singapore received a score of 1.19 out of 4 for freedom of peaceful assembly and a score of 0.51 out of 1 for freedom of discussion.

In terms of political rights, Singapore only scored 19 out of 40.

Regarding inclusiveness, Singapore achieved a high score of 0.87 out of 1 for the equal protection index but scored lower at 0.58 out of 1 for the equal access index.

When it comes to “access to public services distributed by social group,” Singapore scored 3.69 out of 4. However, it received a poor score of 2.20 out of 10 for discrimination and violence against minorities.


According to the index, Singapore ranked 41st in terms of providing opportunities to its fellow citizens, significantly lower than Japan and Norway.


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