President Donald Trump deals in superlatives — particularly when he’s bragging about what a wonderful job he’s doing and how America is towering over other countries around the world.
Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times’ highly respected columnist, reports that the United States has been dropping in a measure of social progress, is now positioned at 28 and is continuing to slide.
He wrote that the US quality of life – which is rising almost everywhere else — has been plunging over the last decade.
In marking our nation’s downward trend, he said that we are one of the few countries worldwide that is slipping backward.
“This should be a wakeup call,” he said, in an audio story.
The newest Social Progress Index, released on Thursday, Sept. 3, finds that the US — out of 163 countries assessed around the globe — is one of three nations where residents are worse off than when the index began in 2011.
He reported that Brazil and Hungary posted declines smaller than the US.
“The data paint an alarming picture of the state of our nation, and we hope it will be a call to action,” Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the chair of the advisory panel for the Social Progress Index, told Kristof.
The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life.
Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.
South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.
The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011.
“We are no longer the country that we like to think we are,” Porter said.
America ranks No. 1 in the world in quality of universities but No. 91 in access to quality basic education. The US leads the world in medical technology, yet is No. 97 in access to quality health care.
The United States has high levels of early marriage but ranks No. 100 in discrimination against minorities.
The data for the latest index predates Covid-19, which has a disproportionate impact on the United States and seems likely to exacerbate the slide in America’s standing.