Canada Ranks 7th on the Social Progress Index 2020

Key Points

• Canada ranked 7th on the 2020 Social Progress Index globally and the 2nd highest out of the world’s top 15 oil exporters

• Social progress is supported by the revenues from Canada’s natural resources sector

• Canada is a global leader in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics. We should be proud!

Canada Social Progress Index Ranking 2020

Canada has proved its global leadership on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics once again, placing 7th out of 163 nations on the Social Progress Index 2020!

The Social Progress Index is a comprehensive measure of real quality of life, independent of economic indicators. The highest component scores used in the SPI’s methodology include:

  • Water and sanitation
  • Shelter
  • Access to Basic Knowledge
  • Nutrition and Basic Medical Care
  • Personal Rights

The SPI’s lowest component scores include:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Access to Advanced Education
  • Environmental Quality
  • Health and Wellness
  • Personal Freedom and Choice

Scoring extremely well across all ranking indicators, Canada managed to climb up 2 spots from the year prior and up 7 spots from 14th from 2018.

Canadians should be proud of our global leadership on social progress. Our nation’s overall wealth and prosperity – largely contributed to by the natural resources sector – enables us to have quality education, healthcare, and social programs to name a few which all play a major part in our high performance on ESG related indexes.

Here are the top 15 ranked countries on the Social Progress Index 2020. Also see:

Social Progress Index 2020 – Top 15

2020 social progress index rankings

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Finland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Sweden
  6. Switzerland
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Iceland
  10. Netherlands
  11. Germany
  12. Ireland
  13. Japan
  14. Luxembourg
  15. Austria

How the Social Progress Index Works

Canada Social Progress Index 2020 Ranking

The Social Progress Index (SPI), done by the US-based, non-profit group the Social Progress Imperative, tallies 50 social and environmental outcome indicators for 163 global nations. These categories are laid out below, along with Canada’s outstanding score on each of them.

Basic Human Needs

> Nutrition and Basic Medical Care

> Water and Sanitation

> Shelter

> Personal Safety

Canada’s Score: 97.03/100

Rank: 6th

Foundations of Well-Being

> Access to Basic Knowledge

> Access to Information and Communications

> Health and Wellness

> Environmental Quality

Canada’s Score: 90.88/100

Rank: 14th


> Personal Rights

> Personal Freedom and Choice

> Inclusiveness

> Access to Advanced Education

Canada’s Score: 86.31/100

Rank: 6th

Social Progress & Natural Resources

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In 2019, Canada’s natural resources sector employed more than 1.9 million people across the country. Adding in the agriculture and agri-food sector, that figure increases to approximately 4.2 million jobs nationwide.

These are typically well-paying positions that support millions of families across our country while helping Canadians sustain one of the highest quality of life rankings in the world.

Government revenues generated by the natural resource industries – forestry, mining, energy, agriculture – are used to supplement our nation’s public healthcare, infrastructure and educational systems (to name a few examples) which underpin our high ranking on the Social Progress Index and other ESG related indexes.

For example, between 2000 and 2018, the oil and gas industry generated $493 billion in government revenues across the country - that’s no small chunk of change! Just imagine the hospitals, schools, roads, and the associated jobs that go with such infrastructure that our resource sector revenues have paid for!

Top Oil Exporters Index RankingsCanada ESG Record vs. Top Global Oil Exporters

Of the world’s top 15 oil exporters, Canada ranks behind only Norway (1st) but performs much better than all others on the Social Progress Index 2020.

#1 – Norway
#7 – Canada
#20 – United Kingdom
#28 – United States
#46 – Kuwait
#61 – Brazil
#62 – Mexico
#67 – Kazakhstan
#69 – Russia
#80 – United Arab Emirates
#101 – Saudi Arabia
#107 – Iraq
#136 – Nigeria
#151 – Angola
Not Ranked - Libya

Oil Demand is Growing

With projected growth in global oil demand for several years to come, it only makes sense that ESG leaders like Canada should be a global supplier of choice.

As one of the most transparent, regulated and environmentally conscious global oil producers and exports, Canada should be the last one “out of the pool.”

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