ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore leads Southeast Asia in social progress: study

But it still needs to work on personal rights and inclusiveness to advance in the global rankings.

Singapore clinches the top spot in Southeast Asia in terms of social progress, Deloitte revealed. It scored a perfect 100 points for water and sanitation, reflecting that its population have good access to potable water and sanitation facilities.

With its overall score of 85.42, the Lion City placed 23rd out of 146 countries included in Deloitte’s Social Progress Index (SPI). The rankings was led by Norway, followed by Iceland and Switzerland which ended up as second and third placers, respectively.

“Given Singapore’s status as one of the financial and business hubs of the world and the strength of the local government, it comes as no surprise that Singapore has been ranked near the top of the table and as a leading country in several key areas,” Deloitte Singapore and Southeast Asia CEO Philip Yuen said.

The study noted that Singapore had high scores in shelter (99.2), access to basic knowledge (98.25), nutrition and basic medical care (97.60), personal safety (95.75), and access to information and communications (90.23).

“However, social progress is a constantly evolving area and so there will always be room for improvement as the challenges facing Singapore continue to evolve, Yuen commented.

According to the study, Singapore can still work on improving some aspects including environmental quality (84.36), personal rights (70.88), and inclusiveness (53.78).

Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines followed Singapore’ s lead in terms of social progress in Southeast Asia.

The SPI is based on a range of social and environmental indicators that capture three dimensions of social progress which are basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity. The 2018 Social Progress Index includes data from 146 countries on 51 indicators.

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