Nick Kristof brings our attention to the latest release of the Social Progress Index, which measures just what you think it measures. The index includes things like health care, access to education, personal safety, sanitation, human rights, and so forth, and combines them all into a single number. This number doesn’t change a lot from year to year, and from 2011 to 2016 it went up by 0.34 in the United States. Since then, however, it’s fallen by an astonishing 1.06 in just four years. We now rank 28th in the world, just behind Greece.
Note that this isn’t an economic index. The US is still one of the richest countries in the world. We just aren’t using those riches to make much social progress.