Nearshore Americas

Interactive: Tracking Latin America’s Social and Economic Progress

There are many measures of economic development, but the one most often used is GDP per capita. Not all experts agree that this is the right way to measure progress, however. In fact, Michael Green, researcher and co-author of the Social Progress Index, believes it is a very poor measure of a good society. In a recent TED talk video, Green noted: “With GDP, if your richest 100 people get richer, your GDP rises … but most of your citizens are just as badly off as they were before.”

So with the basic premise in mind, and drawing on a number of data sets ranging from the SPI to the UNDP’s Human Development Index and the Knowledge Economy Index, Nearshore Americas has compiled its own social and economic progress index for Latin America. The Index does not cover all countries in the region and only draws from specific data sets, but it paints an interesting picture of the region’s progress and development across social as well as economic indicators.

Explore the interactive below to learn more:


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Data Set Sources: IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2014; Social Progress Index 2015; Knowledge Economy Index 2012; Trading Economics Cuba GDP 1970 – 2015

Bianca Wright

Nearshore Americas Contributing Editor Bianca Wright has been published in a variety of magazines and online publications in the UK, the US and South Africa, including Global Telecoms Business,, SA Computer Magazine, M-Business,, Business Start-ups, Cosmopolitan and ComputorEdge. She holds a MPhil degree in Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and a DPhil in Media Studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

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