Ukraine in 2020 climbed from 80th to 63rd place in the Social Progress Index among 163 countries with score of 73.38 points versus 66.97 in 2019, according to the index data.
"It is important that in the year of the pandemic, Ukraine improved its position in this global ranking. This means that at least part of the challenges we responded correctly," Minister of Social Policy Maryna Lazebna told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the study, the average score of the index among all studied countries is 64.24 points. Last year, the group of countries with a very high standard of living and a moderately high quality of life narrowed from 104 to 71.
"I would also like to note that among 15 countries with a similar level of GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power parity, Ukraine ranked fifth in terms of this index," Lazebna said.
In addition, the minister noted the high assessment of Ukraine in the areas of equal access for women and men to basic knowledge, protection of property rights for women, equality of political power by gender.
"Also, Ukraine has demonstrated high rates of vulnerable employment, secondary school attainment, availability of affordable mobile telephone subscriptions, access to electricity," the head of the Ministry of Social Policy said.
However, Ukraine showed significantly worse results in comparison with other countries in terms of life expectancy at 60 years (117th place among 163 countries), and also lags behind in a number of other indicators.
"According to the results given by the authors of the index, Ukraine has high inequality of political power by socioeconomic position, corruption, high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, large number of outdoor air pollution attributable deaths, high number of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases," Lazebna said.
The Social Progress Index (SPI) measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of its citizens. Fifty-four indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity to progress shows the relative performance of nations. Under the technical guidance of Professors Michael Porter from Harvard Business School and Scott Stern from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the group formed a U.S.-based nonprofit called the Social Progress Imperative and launched the Social Progress Index for 50 countries in 2013.