Muscat – According to the 2024 Social Progress Index, for the first time the world has declined overall in social progress. Oman’s ranking too has declined in the index to 68th from 65th in 2022, 63rd in 2021 and 61st in 2020.

In all, 61 countries saw a significant decline in social progress in 2023 and 77 others stagnated. Only 32 countries saw any real progress.

‘Today, four out of five people in the world live in a country where social progress is stagnating or declining,’ stated the index report published by the Social Progress Imperative, a US-based non-profit.

Oman performed well in the Housing component, ranking 19th globally. Within it, it ranked first in ‘Access to electricity’ and ‘Usage of clean fuels and technology for cooking’ indicators.

Oman ranked 51st in Basic Needs, 71st  in Safety, 72nd in Foundations of Wellbeing, 55nd in Health, 89th in Opportunities, 58th in Freedom and Choice, 76th in Inclusive Society, 89th in Advanced Education, and 62nd in Information and Communications, within which it ranked 1st in Mobile Phone Subscriptions and 13th in Internet Users.

In the GCC, Kuwait ranked highest at 48th, followed by the UAE (51st), Qatar (65th), Bahrain (89th) and Saudi Arabia (90th).

The 2024 Social Progress Index is one of the world’s largest curated collections of social and environmental data. Using 13 years of data from 2011 to 2023, it is the only global measurement tool to focus exclusively on the non-economic dimensions of social performance in a comprehensive and systematic way.

It is designed as a complement to GDP and other economic indicators to help understand how people across the globe are really living and who is being left behind. The index was designed by a team led by Prof Michael E Porter of Harvard Business School and Prof Scott Stern at the Sloan School of Management, MIT.

The 2024 Social Progress Index used 12 components and 57 indicators to measure the social performance of 170 countries fully and an additional 26 countries partially.

The downturn in 2023 marks the world’s first social progress recession in the past decade, primarily attributed to declines in Health, Rights, Voice, and Information and Communications.

Denmark ranked first on the 2024 index, with a score of 90.38, followed by Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Australia, Netherlands and Germany, making the top ten. South Sudan was at the bottom, at 170th, with a score of 25.93.

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