Social Welfare and Progress Indicators. 2016

For the first time, Idescat is publishing the Social Welfare and Progress Indicators, which show the available significant information on the state and the evolution of welfare and social progress in Catalonia.

These statistics were designed by the General Directorates for Budgets and for Economic Analysis at the Ministry of Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance, and Idescat.

They involve 52 indicators with information for Catalonia as a whole, grouped into 8 areas:

  1. Living Conditions and Work
  2. Health
  3. Education
  4. Environment
  5. Dwellings
  6. Security and Transport
  7. Inclusion, Rights and Participation
  8. Leisure and Culture

In selecting each indicator, the following criteria have been taken into account:

  • That they are relevant, precise and reliable, that they can be disseminated timely and punctually, annually.
  • That they are coherent and compatible, comparable between regions and countries, and accessible to users.
  • That they are unequivocally significant in relation to welfare and social progress.

This analytical instrument provides the certainty that there is not just one solution to the challenge posed and that it must be open to constant improvement and adaptation.

During the last few years, different initiatives worldwide have offered a wider vision of the social, welfare and sustainability aspects associated with progress. As a result of this vision, various proposals for indicator and synthetic indicator systems have emerged, developed by public and private organisations, to overcome the limitations of a purely economic perspective. Examples of these are Better of Life (OCDE), the Social Progress Index (private foundations and groups formed of experts from all continents) and GDP and Beyond (Eurostat).

The Social Welfare and Progress Indicators have taken the main experiences in the local and international areas into account, and have been revised and assessed by various experts in the different areas.

The origin of these statistics is in Resolution 17/XI, adopted by the Parliament of Catalonia in the session of 10 March 2016, which calls upon the Government to present an annual report on social progress in Catalonia. This report must serve as a reference for developing and assessing the public policies of the Government in the fight against inequality and in favour of sustainable development. Idescat participated in the definition process of the indicators, as contemplated by the Resolution.

The production of the Social Welfare and Progress Indicators also responds to the widely expressed social and political concerns regarding the limitations of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the sole indicator for measuring welfare and social progress.

The series starts in 2010 and the Indicators will be updated annually, in February and June.

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