Economic Growth

These are the most inclusive economies in the world

How can we create more inclusive societies, with higher living standards for all? Image: REUTERS/Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix

Gemma Corrigan
Lead, Sustainable Markets, World Economic Forum Geneva
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Economic Growth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Economic Progress is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Inclusive Growth Framework

Slow growth and rising inequality have reached a tipping point in many of the world’s advanced economies.

The World Economic Forum's Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017 lays out strategies for cutting the current vicious cycle of stagnation and polarisation of income and opportunities. It aims to answer the question - how can this be turned into a virtuous cycle of greater social inclusion and stronger, more sustainable growth?

Breaking the vicious cycle

In other words, how can we increase not just GDP but the extent to which this top-line performance of a country cascades down to benefit society as a whole? The answer, according to the report, is placing people and living standards at the centre of national and international economic policies.

Education, infrastructure, ethics, investment, entrepreneurship and social protection are just some of the factors playing into creating this new economic policy – and the mix will be different for each country.

Image: Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017

The World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Development Index (IDI) ranks the world’s advanced and developing economies based on their performance against key performance indicators ranging from poverty, inequality to public debt and environmental factors.

Image: Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017

Learning from the leaders

Norway tops the IDI, with high and rising living standards, effective social protection and low inequality. There is a high degree of social mobility, low unemployment and a large share of women participate in the labour force, helped by sound parental leave policies and affordable childcare.

 Most inclusive economies
Image: Inclusive Development Index 2017/World Economic Forum

Luxembourg and Switzerland come in second and third place in a top 10 dominated by Northern Europe. This is driven by robust growth and employment, high median living standards, strong environmental stewardship and low public debt.

In 4th place, Iceland had also showed the greatest improvement over the past 5 years, together with New Zealand and Israel.

Have you read?

Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands follow, buoyed by high living standards and good social protection.

New Zealand and Australia, in 8th and 9th place respectively, ranked particularly highly for aspects such as fostering an entrepreneurial culture.

Austria completes the top 10.

Room for improvement

Room for improvement for these top performing countries frequently surrounds reducing wealth inequality, which has risen in 77% of economies globally, and intergenerational equity.

Among developing economies, Lithuania, Azerbaijan and Hungary lead the IDI, with Lesotho, Nepal and Georgia having improved the most since 2011.

Image: Inclusive Development Index 2017/World Economic Forum
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

What is needed for inclusive and sustainable global economic growth? Four leaders share their thoughts 

Liam Coleman

May 24, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum