Social progress 

The Social Progress Index, headed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, uses progress – rather than wealth – as a yardstick for success. It includes 133 countries around the globe, and the Netherlands ranks ninth in the index’s third edition. Countries are ranked according to 52 indicators in three categories: ‘basic human needs’, ‘foundations of wellbeing’ and ‘opportunity’. 

High ranking 

The Netherlands’ ninth rank means it’s outperforming many other European countries, such as the UK (11th), Germany (14th) and France (21st). The list is topped by Norway, followed by Sweden and Switzerland. The Netherlands achieves the highest possible score on water and sanitation in the ‘basic human needs’ category. The country also scores very high on access to information and communication, illustrating the fact that it’s digitally connected on a high level. Lastly, a high score on opportunities can be connected to a high level of personal freedom and rights. 

Useful information for businesses 

Steve Almond, global chairman of Deloitte, the world’s largest accountancy firm, has discussed the Social Progress Index for businesses in a report by Reuters, saying that it can be useful for businesses if they have “a choice between two broadly comparable countries in terms of economic potential.” In this case, the country with a higher ranking on the Social Progress Index can be regarded as less risky to invest in.