Iceland ranks tenth out of 133 nations on the Social Progress Index. It has dropped down from fourth place last year, according to RÚV. That doesn’t mean conditions have worsened here, though; they have, however, improved more in other countries. Among the Nordic countries, Iceland ranks at the bottom this year.
Finland tops the list with 90.09 points, followed by Canada, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK. Iceland shares tenth place with New Zealand, scoring 88.45 points.
The list is prepared by the Social Progress Imperative, based in Washington, DC, and London. The index is made using 53 indicators, considered to best measure social progress. It’s a measuring tool that goes beyond GDP by identifying the social and environmental elements of the performance of countries. Countries are rated in three categories: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity.
Research has shown that although money is important, it isn’t the only indicator for social progress. The GDP per capita in Finland is, for example, lower than that of all others in the top ten spots.
Iceland scores better than most nations regarding access to clean water and sanitation, nutrition, basic medical care, basic knowledge and internet.
We need to improve where it comes to the availability of affordable housing; lower secondary school enrollment could be higher; obesity is a problem; freedom of religion and speech could be increased; wastewater treatment needs improvement; we could do better in terms of protecting terrestrial and marine areas and threatened or endangered species; and there is a lack of globally ranked universities.
There is more gender equality here than in most countries and the percentage of those pursuing higher education is high. We also rank high in terms of personal safety.