ISSN 1842-4562
Member of DOAJ

Is Economic Development the Determining Factor of Social Progress?

Mihaela MIHAI


The Social Progress Index, Social inclusion, Economic development


The Social Progress Imperative initiative argues that traditional indicators of economic growth do not fully reflect the progress of a country. There is a general tendency to measure development and to understand the influence of related components on economic or social phenomena. Let's not forget that both GDP and its derivatives are often used to describe and substantiate changes in development. However, when considering non-economic components, traditional economic indicators may not fully explain development. This highlights that an economic growth does not always mean an increase in the quality of life standards or opportunities for any citizen. Most of the time, GDP points to the concerns of developing social, environmental and personal nature. This could also be valid for aspects of the development and performance of society and the economy, such as social progress. Defined by the ability of a society to meet the fundamental needs of its citizens and to provide them with the essential elements of improving life, social progress can be made possible even at relatively modest income levels. Practically, the Social Progress Index measures the results of the development and performance of society and the economy in practical terms. Similarly, we can say that the development of a high-income society may regress over time. The empirical analysis of data shows that there is a strong correlation between GDP per capita and the Social Progress Index both in the countries for which it was calculated and in the analysis targeting only the countries of the European Union. This result is also relevant in case of a causality inverse correlation. However, if we are just talking about economic development, it means we are talking about an incomplete development strategy.