Social Progress Index 2015; Results for Latin America and the Caribbean | INCAE
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Social Progress Index 2015; Results for Latin America and the Caribbean

April 09 2015
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The Social Progress Index offers a holistic, cutting-edge approach to the health of a society, independently and complementary to economic measures. Measuring Social Progress offers citizens, and their leaders, a more complete picture of how their country is developing.

CLACDS / INCAE is a strategic partner of "Social Progress Imperative", a platform for the dissemination, analysis and training on the foundations and conclusions of the Social Progress Index (SPI). CLACDS works with the Social Progress Network in 10 Latin American countries from Mexico to Chile, providing training and analysis services.

Main results of Latin America

The first three places in the region are occupied by Uruguay (87th in the world), Chile and Costa Rica. Uruguay presents the best performance of social progress in the region and is among the top ten worldwide in terms of personal rights, tolerance and inclusion. Chile is the second in the region and is among the top ten worldwide in terms of personal rights. Costa Rica is among the top ten in the world in terms of health and well-being and is the country with the best relative performance in the world. The last three places are occupied by Guyana (position XNUMX in the world), Cuba and Honduras. Guyana ranks last in the region, scoring particularly low on the Foundations of Wellbeing dimension, being one of the ten lowest performers globally in Health and Wellbeing. Cuba is a paradox: on the one hand it has the lowest scores in the world in Access to Information and Communications, and in Personal Rights, while on the other it is among the five best in the region in the Basic Needs dimension. Honduras presents a very poor score in the dimensions of basic human needs and opportunities, consolidating itself among the ten worst in the world in terms of personal security. Guatemala is among the worst twenty in the world in terms of access to higher education.

Strengths of Latin America

Following a global trend, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean obtain their highest absolute scores in areas prioritized by the Millennium Development Goals, in particular Access to Basic Knowledge and Nutrition and Basic Medical Assistance. Among the relative strengths of the region, the achievements of many countries in the Opportunities dimension stand out: fifteen of the twenty-one countries show relatively high performances in terms of Personal Freedom and Choice, fourteen countries in Tolerance and Inclusion and twelve countries in Rights Personal. It also highlights the better relative performance of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Health and Well-being component. Peru is number one, but Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama are also in the top ten globally. The main reasons for this exceptional performance lie in the low probabilities of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases as well as the few deaths attributable to air pollution in open areas, and a relatively high life expectancy. Four countries in Latin America, three of them in Central America have a high performance in Ecosystems and Sustainability; Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia and Honduras are among the top twenty countries worldwide. These results are due to the protection of habitats and biodiversity, low levels of greenhouse effect emissions, as well as their water resources.

Latin American weaknesses

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean show their lowest absolute scores in access to higher education, even in the countries with the highest scores such as Uruguay, Costa Rica or Panama. The best-ranked country in the region, Chile, barely ranks 31st globally. Brazil ranks 62nd in this category and Uruguay 69th. Personal security is undoubtedly the most serious problem in the region: among the fifteen worst performing countries in the world, seven belong to the Americas region. Latin and the Caribbean. In Venezuela, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, and Jamaica, the personal security situation is particularly dramatic.

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