European Social Progress Index

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The EU Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) is a measure of societal development and quality of life at the regional level that goes beyond the Gross Domestic Product. The Index measures social progress in European regions, at the NUTS2 level, using twelve components described by a total number of fifty-five comparable social and environmental indicators, purposefully excluding economic aspects. Its components are further aggregated into three broader dimensions describing respectively basic, intermediate and more sophisticated aspects of social progress.

The 2020 results are here illustrated with a range of interactive maps and web tools (scroll down to discover all of them).

Scorecards make it easy to compare any region with the EU and regions with a similar level of GDP per capita and population size. Users can easily see where their region stands on each different dimensions such as basic human needs (necessary enablers of societal development), foundations of wellbeing (intermediate factors of social and environmental progress) and opportunity (most advanced components of a cohesive and tolerant society).

With the spider-graph, two regions can be benchmarked with each other and with the European average.

Through the interactive bar-charts users can select any component of the EU-SPI, look how the regions in one country perform and compare them with the regions in another country.

The 2020 results show that social disparities vary greatly both across regions and across different aspects of social progress. Nordic countries perform quite well while southeastern countries lag behind. All top-ten regions are Swedish, Finnish or Danish. The Swedish region of Övre Norrland is found to have the highest level of social progress in the EU (as it was in the first, 2016 edition of the index), followed by the region of Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland and Mellersta Norrland in Sweden.

An on-line data story on our Open Data Portal can help you to interactively navigate through results.

The methodological paper detailing how the index is defined and computed, data tables and auxiliary files are listed at the top-right hand side of this page.

Please send your comments to REGIO-B1-PAPERS@ec.europa.eu.

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