Oman is ranked 85th in the world and third in the GCC in the 2021 Social Progress Index.

The index, which ranks 168 countries, is based exclusively on indicators of social and environmental outcomes, offering a revealing picture of the levels of development in different countries that is independent of traditional economic measures.

Published by the Social Progress Imperative, a global nonprofit based in Washington, DC, the index combines 53 social and environmental outcome indicators to calculate an overall score.

Norway ranks first, followed by Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Japan and Greece in top ten.

In the GCC, Kuwait tops with overall rank of 50, followed by UAE (67th), Oman (85th), Qatar (86th), Bahrain (96th) and Saudi Arabia (105th).

Guinea at 159, followed by Burundi, Congo, Niger, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, Chad, Central African Republic and South Sudan at 168 make up the bottom ten.

‘Countries achieve very different overall levels of social progress and widely differing patterns of social progress by dimensions and components. The index reveals that high-income countries tend to achieve higher social progress than low-income countries. Yet this relationship is neither simple nor linear,’ stated the index.

The 2021 index found that overall social progress is advancing across the world, but remains slow and uneven. ‘The population-weighted world average score has improved by 4.63 points since 2011, to 65.05/100. Despite this overall progress, the world is declining significantly on personal rights with 116 of the 168 countries (69 per cent) measured by the index seeing individual rights rolled back since 2011.’

The index is structured around three broad dimensions of social progress: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. Each of the dimensions is divided into four components which are further divided into a total of 53 distinct indicators.

Basic Human Needs covers Nutritional and Basic Medical Care, Water and Sanitation, Shelter, and Personal Safety.

Foundations of Wellbeing covers Access to Basic Knowledge, Access to Information and Communication, Health and Wellness, and Environment Quality, while Opportunity covers Personal Rights, Personal Freedom and Choice, and Access to Advanced Education.

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