The Social Progress Index finds Canada is the best place in the world for people to reach their full potential

The Social Progress Index ranks Canada second overall, and top among G20 countries. Canada's score of 89.49 out of 100 is eight points above the OECD average, placing Canada in the top tier of "very high social progress countries," along with Finland, Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland. Meanwhile, five of seven G7 nations landed in the second tier of "high social progress countries," including Japan, France and the United States.

The Social Progress Index was developed by a network of partner organizations in business, government and civil society as a means of benchmarking social and environmental performance and to help accelerate social progress through inclusive growth. The 2016 Social Progress Index ranked 130 countries on 53 indicators across three broad dimensions: "basic human needs," "foundations of well-being" and "opportunity."

Here is how Canada compares to the world.

Canadian citizens are able to meet their basic human needs

Canada scored 95.14 in the basic human needs dimension, two points more than the G7 average, and more than 10 points higher than the G20 average. With the world's lowest levels of undernourishment, access to drinking water, electricity and affordable housing, and low levels of violent crime, Canada ranks ahead of every G20 country with the exception of Japan.

Canadians enjoy safety and well-being

The foundations of well-being dimension includes indicators that rate access to basic knowledge, access to information and communications technology, health and wellness, and environmental quality. Canada ranked within the top ten globally across several indicators, including school enrollment rates, press freedom and life expectancy. Overall, Canada ranked seventh among G20 countries. It is no wonder that Canada's largest city, Toronto, has been named the safest city in North America and ranked first on a list of the best places to live in the world by The Economist.

Canada offers an unparalleled opportunity for success

Canada dominated the opportunity dimension, which examines factors such as political rights, freedom over life choices, tolerance and inclusion and access to, and quality of, education. Canada's performance was underscored by a first place ranking for advanced education. In 14th place, the United States trailed Canada by nearly nine points in the opportunity dimension, failing to reach the global top ten.

Canada outperformed the United States across all three dimensions of the index, with the largest differences in personal rights, tolerance and inclusion, health and wellness, and personal safety.

Learn why Forbes places Canada on the top of its list of best countries for business

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July 22, 2016

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