Revealed: The World's Most & Least Advanced Countries

Matthew Bishop | LinkedIn | April 4, 2014

UNTIL recently, the popular way to compare the progress of one country relative to another was to use the size of their economies. America had the biggest GDP (and almost the biggest per capita GDP), so it stood to reason it was the most advanced country in the world.

Nowadays, we all know that GDP is a flawed measure of how well a country is doing. Because it only adds up the activity that involves money changing hands, it ignores all sorts of things that matter to a country's well-being.

After the financial crash of 2008 revealed that the world had been fooled by strong GDP growth into thinking all was well, there was general agreement among policymakers that we needed better measures to judge how individual countries, and the world as a whole, are doing. I chaired a Global Agenda Council at the World Economic Forum that decided to create* what has become the "Social Progress Index", which has just been published, comparing some 132 countries. You can see the full results here...