Where the world is heading? How rising inequality hampers progress

Where the world is heading? How rising inequality hampers progress

The rights and freedoms of the individual are respected in the world less, and minorities have a more difficult which inhibits social development, showed the annual social progress Index.

The stream of bad news seems to live in this world more dangerous and more difficult. Whether so it actually?

Published on Wednesday annual social progress Index has shown that the development of society in many countries is inhibited, and the main reason for the attack on the rights and freedoms of the individual, which negates the achievements in other spheres.

A study by researchers at Harvard business school and Massachusetts Institute of technology, prepared for the American non-governmental organization Social Progress Imperative, covers countries representing 98% of the world population.

They note that over the past three years in almost 40 countries the situation has deteriorated with the rights and freedoms of the individual, and in some — including Russia, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan is a rapidly. Included in this category is freedom of speech and Assembly, the right to vote and private property.

Russia: well-fed, educated, disenfranchised

In the overall standings Russia took the 67 th place out of 128 covered countries index, behind Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The suppression of personal freedoms dragged Russia to the bottom of the world rankings that characterize the opportunities for the development of society: it has occupied 118-e a place in the category of “human rights” and 115-e — in “tolerance and inclusiveness”.

Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and one of the largest economies in the world, flashed in the top 40 world leaders of social progress in only one category — the availability of higher education (4 th place).

Compared to 15 countries of similar income per capita, Russia performed better than average only in terms of covering basic human needs: food security, primary education and primary medicine. For all other accounts she was an outsider in their group.

Richer does not mean better

If we compare index with the size of the economy, it becomes clear that the rich countries are not always out on the cutting edge of progress.

“In Kuwait or Saudi Arabia (which have problems with access to clean water), as well as in Russia, political decisions are not always directed to high income fueled social progress,” said bi-Bi-si the head of the Social Progress Imperative Michael green.

The study showed, for example, that the clubs of the rich countries “Big seven” and OECD — social development leaves much to be desired. The exception is Norway, Japan and Spain.

At the same time, developing countries with relatively low GDP are the backbone of the leaders in the index.

Intolerance is on the March

Along with the injustice in the world, the growing hostility to foreigners and minorities, especially in some European countries, the report said.

Only in the last two years the situation with tolerance and inclusiveness has deteriorated in Denmark, Spain, France, Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, Macedonia and Russia.

Harder to have immigrants and minorities — sexual and religious — in 44 countries, including Latvia, Hungary, Ukraine and the USA.

“Some of the findings are alarming, says green. They indicate movement in reverse. Even in countries which don’t expect”.

The main surprise is the USA. There is social progress seems stopped.

“The data show a lag in social development in the last three years, especially in terms of tolerance and inclusiveness,” said green.

“With the economy like everything is in order, but people have reason to complain of disappointed expectations.”

Not so bad

Found in the index and encouraging trends. As, for example, its total growth, indicating that overall the world is growing, despite setbacks and obstacles.

Over the past three years, Internet access has received another 8% of the world’s population, and now 43% connected to world wide web.

Similar situation with cellular communication — 95% live in the coverage area.

And the locomotive index, made the accessibility of higher education: 89 countries have at least one University with a world rating, while in 2014 there were 75.

Average in the hospital

So how are things with social progress in the world as a whole?

General index in three years grew from 63,19 to 64,85 (out of a possible 100).

“This is the best result since 2004, when we included in the study food security, primary education and primary healthcare, says green. But the potential is much higher.”

If the world were one country, he would have ranked 80-th place in the ranking of 2017 — between Indonesia and Botswana.

Valeria, Perasso. Correspondent Bi-bi-si on social issues