Egypt ranked 84th in the 2014 Social Progress Index, published in April, which ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance, according to a Sunday statement from professional services network Deloitte Middle East.
The index, which is prepared by the US-based non-profit organisation the Social Progress Imperative, measures three main categories such as basic human needs, foundation of wellbeing and opportunity. Under each category, lie several indicators such as political rights, freedom of speech and religion, women’s treatment, adult literacy rate and other factors.
Eight Middle Eastern countries were included in the index. The United Arab Emirates ranked 37th, followed by Kuwait in 40th place. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia ranked 65th, Jordan 75th, Lebanon 83rd, Iraq 118th, and Yemen 125th.
The top five countries in the index are New Zealand, Switzerland, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
There is a positive correlation between economic performance and social progress, according to the index. Countries with higher incomes enjoy greater social progress. However, the index showed that economic growth “does not automatically” lead to social advancement.
“Higher GDP per capita does bring benefits, particularly on basic human needs but rising incomes do not guarantee improvement on ecosystem sustainability, health and wellness and opportunity,” according to the index.
In the World Bank’s 2013/2014 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which evaluates how countries fare on competiveness, Egypt ranked 118th out of 148 countries.
However, on the corruption scale, Egypt ranks the 114th out of 177 in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, conducted by the global coalition against corruption Transparency International, which surveys the corruption levels of countries worldwide.