Measuring National Progress Beyond GDP - Poll
12 June 2013 at 10:16 am
Australians are among the strongest supporters worldwide for replacing Gross Domestic Product with a more comprehensive measure of national progress, a recently released global poll suggests.
Some 81 per cent of Australians favour replacing GDP with a broader indicator embracing health, social and environmental statistics as well as economic ones.
The UK also had public support of 81 per cent, closely followed by China with 80 per cent.
The Australian figure represents a 10 point rise in support since the previous survey, conducted in 2010.
The study, conducted by GlobeScan, surveyed 10,845 adults across 11 countries, on behalf of Ethical Markets, Tomorrow’s Company and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
India (where 44 percent want to see a new system), Kenya (43 per cent) and Germany (57 per cent) are the most resistant to replacing GDP.
Worldwide averages were largely unchanged since 2010, with change still the preferred course of action.
Globally, 23 per cent of the public prefer the current focus on money-based economic statistics.
Yet more than two-thirds, 68 per cent, support a new measure of national progress.
Tony Manwaring, Chief Executive at Tomorrow’s Company, said the results were an extension of the principles driving CSR.
“Value creation has changed fundamentally in the Age of Sustainability, it must now integrate economic, social and environmental factors in order to deliver in the long-term. If this is true for companies and investors, then it is even truer for countries,” he said.
The poll results follow Harvard Business School Professor and CSR scholar Michael Porter’s campaign to introduce a new measurement of national progress.
Porter, known in the CSR field for his Creating Shared Value concept, proposed the Social Progress Index (SPI) back in April.
The SPI uses original research and data from the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and other sources to rank 50 countries on 52 indicators, including nutrition, sanitation, ecosystem sustainability and personal freedom.
A new organisation, the Social Progress Imperative, was created to support the
development of the Social Progress Index and help to integrate it into corporate and
The organisation has since won the backing of the Skoll Foundation, Cisco, Deloitte,
Compartamos Banco, and Fundación Avina.