Healthify Blog

U.S. Ranks 19th Among Nations for Social Progress: Report

Report Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

The United States ranks a "disappointing" 19th place among nations in terms of social progress, according to a new report by U.S.-based nonprofit Social Progress Imperative.
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The nonprofit annually calculates each nation's "social progress index" based on the three dimensions of Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Well-Being and Opportunity.
 
Those dimensions are further broken down into a total of 12 components that include factors such as nutrition and basic medical care, shelter, health and wellness, environmental quality, personal rights and access to advanced education. 
 
Taking all those things together, the social progress index represents how well a society meets its people's basic needs, establishes building blocks to sustain the quality of their lives and creates the conditions for them to reach their full potential.
 
According to this year's report, the United States ranks 19th in the world, behind Spain and France and ahead of Slovenia and Portugal.
 
Meanwhile, the top performers this year — ranked first to fifth  are Finland, Canada, Denmark, Australia and Switzerland, the report stated.
 
Compared to countries of similar GDP per capita, the United States was rated by the nonprofit as relatively poor in areas including the following: child mortality rate, homicide rate, traffic deaths, life expectancy at 60, premature deaths from non-communicable disease, obesity rate, suicide rate, wastewater treatment and greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Using Technology to Improve Access to Social Programs

From Healthify's perspective, the country's social progress ranking further underscores the need to step up efforts to help underserved people get on the path toward good health.
 
By providing the technology to efficiently connect people to social programs that can meet basic needs such as housing and food, Healthify hopes to contribute to bringing the country's social progress up to par with its economic strength.
 
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Image Source: Social Progress Imperative
Topics: social determinants of health health disparities public health