Small states like , have topped the Social Progress Index (SPI), released by the Economic Advisory Council-Prime Minister here on Tuesday.
According to the report, Puducherry has the highest score of 65.99 in the country for its remarkable performance across components like personal freedom and choice, shelter, and water and sanitation. Lakshadweep and Goa closely follow it with scores of 65.89 and 65.53, respectively. Jharkhand and Bihar are at the bottom of the list with 43.95 and 44.47, respectively.
For the dimension of basic human needs, Goa, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Chandigarh are the top 4 states with the best performance in water and sanitation and shelter as compared to the other states and union territories, reads the report.
Goa has the highest component score for Water and Sanitation, followed by Kerala, scoring the highest across the Nutrition and Basic Medical Care component. For Shelter and Personal Safety, Chandigarh and Nagaland have emerged as the front-runners.
The report has put Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Goa as the best-performing states for the foundations of wellbeing. Within the dimension for the access to basic knowledge component, Punjab has the highest component score of 62.92, while Delhi has topped the list for access to information and communication with a score of 71.30.
For health and wellness, Rajasthan has the highest component score of 73.74. For environmental quality, the top three states belong to the northeast region, namely, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.
Moreover, Tamil Nadu has achieved the highest component score of 72.00 for the opportunity dimension. Within this dimension, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the highest component score for personal rights, while Sikkim has topped the list for Inclusiveness. Puducherry tops the list with the highest scores across two components in this dimension, i.e., personal freedom and choice and access to advanced education.
SPI is a comprehensive tool that can serve as a holistic measure of a nation’s social progress at the national and sub-national levels. The index assesses states and districts based on 12 components across 3 critical dimensions of social progress – Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. The index uses an extensive framework comprising 89 indicators at the state level and 49 at the district level.
Notably, the findings in the report are based on a robust methodology and in-depth research and analysis, paving the way for policymakers to take informed decisions in the years to come. It also marks the start of the next phase in the social progress journey and hopes to advance the cause of social progress in the country.