Earlier this month México ¿cómo vamos? and INCAE Business School, in conjunction with the Social Progress Imperative, released the first-ever Social Progress Index for the States of Mexico: Índice de Progreso Social México (IPS México). As member of the G20 and with the 10th largest population in the world, Mexico is a country with huge regional and global importance. Mapping the lived experience of Mexico’s 128 million people state-by-state represents a significant step forward for the global push to move beyond GDP and advance social progress. The IPS México uses 58 indicators across the three dimensions of the Social Progress Framework—Basic Human Needs, Foundations and Wellbeing, and Opportunity—to measure 31 states and one federal district (Mexico City).
As a country, Mexico ranks 55th on the 2019 global Social Progress Index, performing within the expected range of its economic peers. While a powerful tool, the global Index does not provide any information about social progress at the sub-national level, and the results of IPS México shows that there is room for Mexico to improve and increase quality of life for people across the country.
The three highest scoring states on the 2019 IPS México are Nuevo León (73.56/100), Querétaro (72.12/100) and Aguascalientes (70.90/100), In contrast, the three lowest scoring states are Chiapas (59.11/100), Guerrero (59.02/100) and Oaxaca (58.64/100). The three lowest scoring states are also the poorest in the country by GDP per capita. However, GDP is not everything: Mexico City is the capital and has the 2nd highest GDP in the country, but ranks 6th on Social Progress and notably ranks last on the component of Health and Wellness, which includes indicators like life expectancy, suicide rate, and deaths from non-communicable diseases. GDP is by no means destiny and the Social Progress Index provides the tools to move beyond limited economic measures to truly account for the lived experience of the population.
There is also a strong relationship between the IPS México scores and the poverty rates across the states of the country, such that states with higher poverty rates tend to have lower social progress scores. For example, Chiapas has the highest proportion of its population in poverty (76.4%) and ranks 30th overall while first-ranked Nuevo León has the lowest poverty rate in the country. By mapping social progress data against other metrics, including GDP and poverty, we can identify critical connections that allow interventions to improve the lived experience of the population.
In general, Mexican states perform the worst on this dimension, especially struggling with the component of Access to Advanced Education. Although Mexico City does underperform compared to some of its economic peers on social progress overall (see above), it scores much better than the rest on the country on Opportunity. Mexico City leads on the Access to Advance education (81.10/100), scoring almost 16 points higher than the second-best state, Sinaloa (65.11/100), indicating serious disparities. However, data and information are the first steps towards actions which will reduce these disparities, and the IPS México provides this much-needed insight.
One of the most striking disparities in the 2019 IPS México results is the gap between the highest and lowest scoring states on the component of Water and Sanitation. Nuevo León (ranked 1st), Aguascalientes (2nd) and Colima (3rd) all score above 90.00/100 on the component, while Oaxaca(30th), Coahuila (31st), and Guerrero (32nd) all score lower than 60.00. A similar score disparity exists between the leading states and the laggards in the Access to Basic Knowledge component. By identifying these gaps, the Social Progress Index can be a valuable tool for leaders and policy makers to work towards a better lived experience for everyone.
The IPS México is an incredible example of the Social Progress Framework, which can be tailored and transformed to fit any context across the world. We are excited to see how our partners in the Mexican social progress network and organizations from across Mexican society develop and utilize data to improve the daily lives of its population. To learn more about the IPS México visit: mexicocomovamos.mx. To learn more about the work of the Social Progress Imperative visit: socialprogress.org.