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Italy’s 2015 Social Progress Ranking

The 2015 Social Progress Imperative (SPI) Social Progress Index report is out and below you will find the figures for Italy, the UK, and Germany.

While other systems measure and compare economic performance, the Social Progress Imperative’s index attempts to gauge the social well-being or happiness of nations all over the world.

Arguably, perhaps, the SPI provides a more accurate indication of how well, or not, nations are being governed. After all, if social conditions are improving then life is likely to be more satisfying, rewarding and more productive for more people.

GDP growth, the usual measure of the economic performance of nations, does not always lead to improvements in social conditions at all levels in society whereas the Social Progress Index attempts to show whether or not social conditions throughout society are changing for the better or for the worse.

Where is Italy in the 2015 Ranking?

While, overall, Italy has slipped from 29th to 31st place in the ranking, in terms of Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, Italy ranks 6th in the world. Finland is in first place.

To this Italy watcher, the overall slide comes as no big surprise. Having spoken both an Italian barber, taxi driver, and an accountant, as well as other Italians recently, I have to say that the Social Progress Index ranking confirms what I have heard “on the street” – Italians are not overly optimistic about the future.

From a social standpoint, the global economic crisis has battered and weakened Italy as the 2015 SPI confirms.

While steps are being taken to point the nation in a better direction, progress so far has been very slow and there are no guarantees that any progress will be made at all.

Italy’s Personal Safety Ranking

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I’ll admit to being surprised, as was someone who commented on this article, by Italy’s Personal Safety result. I’ve always felt rather safe in Italy and I’ve been here for many years. I mentioned this on Twitter to the Social Progress Imperative people and have asked for more information. Included within the Personal Safety figure are Level of violent crime, Perceived criminality and Political terror – all three Italy been received flagged as ‘relative weaknesses’. If the Social Progress Imperative people provide me with more detailed information on these aspects of Italy, I’ll add it here.

The Social Progress Imperative people did indeed get back to me and pointed out this dataset.

Here’s a breakdown of Italy’s Personal Safety ranking:

  • Violent Crime: 61st – on a scale of 1 to 5, Italy scores 3 indicating a relatively high level.
  • Political terror: 23rd – on a scale of 1 to 5, Italy scores 1.5 indicating a low level.
  • Traffic deaths: 20th – 7.5 deaths per 100,000 incidents.
  • Perceived criminality of Italy: 94th -on a scale of 1 to 5, Italy scores 4 indicating a high level.
  • Homicide levels: 1st – but indicates a low level of homicides.

Broken down, the Personal Safety rankings more or less fit with my own gut feelings, otherwise known as perceptions. The Traffic deaths level and ranking would appear to confirm the stereotype that Italians are not the world’s best drivers.

Next year’s Social Progress Index should provide an indication of whether or not Italy is heading in a better direction and whether ‘la dolce vita‘ can be resurrected.


Here’s a video which explains what the Social Progress Imperative and the index is all about:

More information on the Social Progress Imperative and the 2015 Social Progress report can be found here: Social Progress Imperative

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