Canada continues to lead the way when it comes to opportunities afforded to citizens and residents, a new report has stated. Canada received stand-out results for inclusion and tolerance for immigrants.
The Social Progress Index, which is headed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter and includes representatives from Oxford University and The Economist magazine on its Advisory Board, delivered its third annual report last week, ranking 133 countries across 52 different indicators. The report measures countries’ national success based on social factors, rather than gross domestic product (GDP), which is typically used for this purpose.
Of the 133 countries measured, Canada ranked first for what the report called ‘opportunity’. This broad category measured the following indicators:
- Personal rights:
- Political rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of movement, private property rights
- Tolerance and inclusion:
- Tolerance for immigrants, tolerance for homosexuals, discrimination and violence against minorities, community safety net, religious tolerance
- Access to advanced education:
- Years of tertiary schooling, women’s average years in school, equality in the attainment of education, globally ranked universities
- Personal freedom and choice:
- Freedom over life choices, freedom of religion, early marriage*, satisfied demand for contraception, corruption**
Early marriage was defined as ‘the percentage of women married between 15-19 years of age’ and was measured negatively (i.e. the lower the percentage, the higher the ranking for that country for this factor. Corruption was defined as ‘the perceived level of public sector corruption based on expert opinion, measured on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean)’
Canada also received top marks for access to electricity, quality of air in homes, adult literacy, and secondary school enrollment. Moreover, it had the lowest rating for negative factors such as homicides, violent crime, political terror, and undernourishment of children.
Canada has also been rated at the top of the United Nations’ human development index for much of the past 25 years and has ranked in or near the top 10 since the index was created in 1990.
“Canada’s tremendous ranking across this comprehensive report is evidence of a strong, inclusive country that offers unique opportunities to all, Canadian and non-Canadian alike,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“I am particularly impressed with Canada’s continued top ranking when it comes to tolerance for religious minorities and immigrants. It is something that we Canadians are proud of, and it is wonderful to see that younger generations in Canada are just as welcoming, perhaps even more so, than those who came before. When it comes to tolerance and inclusion, Canada stands head and shoulders above the competition.
“In my years of experience in talking with and responding to potential immigrants to Canada, the same questions and concerns are raised time and time again. People want to live in a place where their children have access to the best quality education, where the neighbourhood they live in is safe, where vast opportunities abound, and where their personal and private freedoms are upheld and enshrined in law. That place is Canada.”
Scores for religious tolerance range from 1 (very low) to 4 (very high).
Scores for discrimination, powerlessness, ethnic violence, communal violence, sectarian violence, and religious violence were measured on a scale on 0 (low pressures) to 10 (very high pressures).
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