Download - full size (pdf version) Graphic: Social Watch
World trade and per capita income grew faster in the first decade of the XXI century than the decade before, but progress against poverty slowed down. A gap widened, due to the unequal distribution of the benefits of prosperity. Now the boom years seem to give way to a bust. The vulnerable did not benefit from the accelerated growth in the economy, but they will undoubtedly suffer the most with a new contraction.
The Basic Capabilities Index computed by social watch looks at basic social indicators. The 2011 figures show that economic performance and well being of the people do not go hand in hand. Progress on education, health and nutrition was already too slow when gross income was growing fast. While using the latest available figures, the Index does not capture yet the whole impact of the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, because social indicators are gathered and published much slower than the economic numbers.
Yet, Social Watch is receiving evidence from its members on how the crisis is burdening the most those already vulnerable and that situation can only become worse if the big industrialized countries enter into prolonged stagnation or recession.
WORLD TRADE TOTAL WORLD EXPORTS MULTIPLIED ALMOST FIVE TIMES IN TWENTY YEARS, GROWING FROM A TOTAL VALUE OF 781 BILLION US DOLLARS IN 1990 TO 3.7 TRILLION IN 2010.
PER CAPITA INCOME THE WORLD AVERAGE INHABITANT MORE THAN DOUBLED HER INCOME FROM 4.079 US DOLLARS IN 1990 TO 9.116 DOLLARS A YEAR IN 2010.
BASIC CAPABILITIES INDEX THE WORLD AVERAGE IN THE INDEX OF ESSENTIAL SOCIAL INDICATORS COMPUTED BY SOCIAL WATCH ONLY GREW 10% IN TWENTY YEARS, FROM 79.3 TO 87.1
BCI values for 2011 were computed for 167 countries where data are available out of the 193 member states of the United Nations. The BCI values for 2011 ranged from 47.9 to 99.5 with Japan, along with Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland and Iceland, occupying the top five positions. The top performing countries having the highest BCI are mostly from the developed countries of Europe, North America and East Asia/Pacific. In contrast, the countries with the lowest BCI values are mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with Chad at the bottom, along with Sierra Leone, Niger, Somalia and Guinea Bissau.
As in previous Social Watch reports, the countries are categories into five (5) groups according to their BCI values: Basic: BCI values 98 and over, Medium: BCI values from 91 to 97, Low: BCI values from 81 to 90, Very Low: BCI values from 71 to 80, Critical: BCI values below 70
Countries with basic BCI level are close to the maximum possible values of the indicators that constitute the Index and are very likely to have met the MDG targets way ahead of the 2015 headline. Countries in this group are providing essential social services required to ensure a minimum dignity level and are thus able to further improve the well-being of its people.