2015 Social Inclusion Index

Americas Quarterly has recently presented its Social Inclusion Index for 2015. This is its fourth published index, which compares 17 countries in the Americas (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay), using 22 variables including a range of heterogeneous indicators, from the usual economic indicators to others measuring civil rights, gender, citizen participation, government response capacity, etc.

The document starts by defining the set of variables it uses to measure the level of social inclusion in the selected countries, and establishes a league table to rank the countries on their performance in each of them. It then presents the general score for each country and gives a breakdown of each of their scorecards, variable by variable.

The index is intended to evaluate the impact of public policies implemented in these countries and to identify gaps in social inclusion. It is a document that can provide support to public, multilateral and other organisations and individuals wishing to assess and enhance their public policies.

In the period analysed, Uruguay holds on to its top place for the second year running, mainly due to its improvement in access to formal jobs.  The United States moves up the ranking from last year, reaching second place, showing progress in women's rights, financial inclusion and personal empowerment. Argentina takes the bronze medal, doing well in indicators such as GDP invested in social programmes. The document concludes that, in general, poverty has been reduced in the Americas, above all in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, El Salvador and Costa Rica. However, it has increased in Honduras. All the countries do better in the financial inclusion indicator.