US Ranks Low in Societal Health

US Ranks Low in Societal Health

Politicians and patriots always say that America is the greatest country in the world but the facts reveal something shockingly different.  The Social Progress Imperative has done an exhaustive study of factors that measure social progress in all the countries of the world. Social Progress is defined as:

the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.

Their 2014 Report has found some interesting rankings of US relative to other countries under the heading of Basic Human Needs.  For instance, the US ranks 36th in child mortality rate…below Bosnia and Serbia.  We rank 40th in maternal mortality rate.  We rank 41st in homicide rate…below Morocco and Algeria.  We rank 37th in traffic deaths…below Uzbekistan and Romania.

Under the heading of Foundations of Well-Being more statistics reveal American health at less than many realize.  We rank 29th in life expectancy…below Cuba and Costa Rica.  One of the reasons for the low life expectancy rate might be we rank 125th in obesity rate.  We also rate 79th in suicide rate.  We also make the rest of the world less healthy because we rank 2nd in greenhouse gas pollution emissions.  We also rank 67th in protecting biodiversity.  The US ranks 46th in upper secondary school enrollment…just behind Slovakia and Kuwait.  You would think that the US would rank 1st in press freedom but we actually rank only 21st.

Under the heading of Opportunity we generally rank better for the freedoms we guarantee.  But we rank 29th in discrimination and violence against minorities.  We rank 26th at providing a community safety net.  That is below Mongolia.  We rank 38th in religious tolerance…below Burundi and Cameroon.

So America has a long way to go in order to improve our general well-being.  We should each think of how we can contribute to a rise in our own individual health, that of our family and the other citizens of the world.