Denmark has world’s best quality of life
The Social Progress Index study was put together by economists Michael E. Porter and Scott Stern of Harvard and MIT universities, and uses 50 different indicators including free speech, political freedom and private ownership rights to measure societal performance based on social and environmental outcome factors.
The study claims to be the first measure of quality of life that is independent of economic factors.
Denmark has made progress on both health and growth during the last year, according to the report.
Access to basic knowledge, information and communications, water and sanitation, and health care are among the factors that can be thanked for Denmark’s positive position on the list, according to the report, which scored Denmark at over 98 percent on a number of categories in these areas.
"Denmark topped the ranking this year. Indeed, the Nordic countries all made it into the premier league of countries with very high social progress. But they don’t have a monopoly.
"Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the UK also made it into this top category.,” Michael Green, director of the thinktank, wrote in a press statement.
Other countries with similar GDPs per citizen have made larger strides than Denmark, according to the study.
“Nor is Denmark, as the top ranked country, a social progress paradise. The Index highlights areas where Denmark could and should be doing better, such as on life expectancy, the number of boys dropping out of school and religious tolerance,” Green wrote.
Denmark’s Nordic neighbours also fare well in the study.
Finland takes second place, while Norway and Iceland share third. Sweden is eighth of the 128 countries included in the study. ■