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Jordan ranked 75th in Social Progress Index

By Khetam Malkawi - Apr 03,2014 - Last updated at Apr 03,2014

AMMAN — Jordan ranked 75th among world countries in the “Social Progress Index 2014” issued this week.

The index, compiled by a team of economists led by Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School in the US, is designed as an alternative to traditional measures such as the gross domestic product, which is based on purely economic standards.

New Zealand topped world countries in the index, followed by Switzerland and Iceland.

The index, which measures a country’s performance in three main categories, ranked Jordan 49th in the Basic Human Needs indicator, 94th in the Foundations of Well-being and 93rd in the Opportunity index.

The Kingdom trails behind the region’s countries in the health and wellness indicator, which is part of the foundations of well-being, scoring 67.84 points in this category that is regionally led by Algeria with 79.65 points.

According to the index, of the issues covered by the Basic Human Needs dimension, Jordan does best in areas such as water and sanitation, and has the greatest opportunity to improve human well-being by focusing more on personal safety. 

“Jordan excels at providing building blocks for people’s lives such as access to basic knowledge but would benefit from greater investment in ecosystem sustainability,” the report said. 

In the Opportunity dimension, Jordan “outperforms” in providing opportunities for people to improve their position in society and scores high in personal freedom and choice, yet falls short in personal rights.

The index ranked the United Arab Emirates as first regionally in social progress (37th), followed by Israel (39th) and Kuwait (40th).

The lowest scores are for Yemen (125th) and Iraq (118th). 

The Arab Spring countries of North Africa scored lowest on the Opportunity dimension, according to the index.

Economic development is necessary but not sufficient for social progress, the report said. A country’s overall level of development masks social and environmental strengths and challenges, it added. 

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