New ‘Humankind Index’ for Scotland

Oxfam has published the first results of a new ‘Humankind Index’ for Scotland, designed to measure prosperity through a wider set of indicators than simple gross domestic product. The index involves a weighted set of elements that people say are the most important influences on their ability to live well:

  • An affordable, decent and safe home. 
  • Good physical and mental health.
  • Living in a neighbourhood where people can enjoy going outside, and having a clean and healthy environment.
  • Having satisfying work to do (whether paid or unpaid).
  • Having good relationships with family and friends.
  • Feeling that close friends and relatives are safe.
  • Access to green and wild spaces, and to community spaces and play areas.

Between 2007/08 and 2009/10 Scotland’s prosperity increased by 1.2 per cent, according to the index. Prosperity in deprived areas was 10 per cent below the figure for Scotland as a whole, with these areas coming off worse on 12 out of 15 elements. The major disparities were in terms of whether people were able to enjoy going outside and having a clean and healthy environment; access to green spaces and play areas; and safety. These three areas accounted for just over 40 per cent of the difference between deprived communities and Scotland as a whole.

Source: Stewart Dunlop and Katherine Trebeck, with Kim Swales and Jennifer Glinski, The Oxfam Humankind Index for Scotland: First Results, Oxfam