Moving Beyond GDP: New Regional Social Progress Index

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The draft version of the regional Social Progress Index, released today for public comment, aims to measure the social progress for 272 European regions as a complement to traditional measures of economic progress. The index scores absolute performance on a 0-100 scale for each of the 50 indicators included to measure the Index components. It also presents strengths and weaknesses relative to regions of similar economic performance.

All twelve thematic components in the index show significant variations within and between EU Member States on topics including, among others, access to health care, quality and affordability of housing, personal safety, access to higher education, and environmental pollution. 

The index is the result of cooperation among the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission, the Social Progress Imperative and Orkestra—Basque Institute of Competitiveness. It follows the overall framework of the global Social Progress Index, customised for the EU using indicators primarily drawn from Eurostat data. 

This draft index is shared to collect feedback from stakeholders on the topics, the indicators included and the way these indicators are combined into a single final score for each region. Please send comments and suggestions to: A revised version of the regional Social Progress Index will be released in October 2016.  

Measuring social progress can inform the development strategies of EU regions. This new regional index is intended to:

  • Make a contribution to the “beyond GDP” debate, proposing a solid metric to complement GDP rather than to replace it.
  • Help regions to identify peers, at any level of economic development, from whom they could learn and, if applicable, prioritise issues they want to address with their Cohesion Policy Programme;
  • Serve as a sounding board for the European Commission services to assess whether the 2014-2020 programmes address the right issues in the right places; 

Please note that this index is not created for the purpose of funding allocation and does not bind the European Commission. 

More information 

Explore interactive maps of the Social Progress Index for the EU

Explore Social Progress Index scorecards for each region in the EU

Learn more about the methodology behind the Social Progress Index for the EU