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Finland ranks third in global social progress index

Norway and Denmark outranked Finland in the analysis.

nainen lenkkeilee maseutumaisemassa
Finland performed well in areas such as water and sanitation and shelter but underperformed in relation to access to quality health care and freedom of religion, for example. Image: Peter Erik Forsberg / AOP

Finland placed third in a global Social Progress Index published by the Washington-based NGO, the Social Progress Imperative.

The index, which was first launched in 2014, measures 50 different variables that affect social development and wellbeing and looked at the performance of 193 countries.

The variables were divided into three main categories: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity.

According to the ranking, Finland was among the most socially developed countries in the world based on sub-categories such as water and sanitation, access to basic knowledge, shelter, nutrition and basic medical care and access to information and communication.

However Finland did not perform well in metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, placing in 117th position out of 193 countries. The ranking also indicated that Finland was underperforming in areas such as access to quality health care, freedom of religion and the homicide rate.

Norway placed first in the index, followed by Denmark and Finland. New Zealand and Sweden rounded out the top five.

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