The Helsinki-Uusimaa region ranks second among European regions in the latest comparison of societal development. The EU Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) assesses the prerequisites for well-being and good life in 240 regions. Only the Swedish region of Övre Norrland is ahead of Helsinki-Uusimaa. In 2016 when the index was previously reviewed, Helsinki-Uusimaa was ranked seventh.
The Social Progress Index measures social progress in European regions. It consists of twelve components described by a total number of fifty-five comparable social and environmental indicators. Regions are compared on different dimension such as basic human needs, well-being, and opportunity. The variables in the index include, among others, nutrition and basic care, water and waste management, housing, safety, health and well-being, quality of the environment, personal rights and opportunities, and tolerance and inclusion.
According to the index, Helsinki-Uusimaa’s strengths include residents’ trust in their own rights and their tolerance towards other people. In addition, the region offers its residents excellent conditions for higher education and access to information. Compared to the peer regions, Helsinki-Uusimaa also has an attractive environment. There is room for improvement in, among other things, housing satisfaction, perceived access to health care and the completion of secondary education.
The purpose of the index is to provide a tool for monitoring the social progress of different regions and to complement the traditional GDP measure of development. The data used in the 2020 index is mainly from the period before the coronavirus pandemic, so the results of the index do not take into account the changes the pandemic brings with respect to the foundations for well-being and good life.
The Social Progress Index is the result of joint development work between the European Commission and the Social Progress Imperative Foundation. The EU-SPI is based on the Global Social Progress Index but is specifically tailored to the needs of the regions of the European Union.
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The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council has the honour of hosting the annual forum of the European Metropolitan Authorities Network (EMA) in Helsinki on 28–29 September. The main theme of the conference, which will be held at Marina Congress Center on Friday, is climate change mitigation with green and digital solutions.
Janne Leino (M.A.) has started in his position as the new Head of the Helsinki EU Office in Brussels. Mr Leino, with a strong international career, has previously worked for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), where he coordinated the interests’ promotion of a network with more than one hundred offices in Brussels.