A survey of composite indices measuring country performance: 2006 update

A survey of composite indices measuring country performance: 2006 update

Indices of national performance: a survey

This paper presents an update of the June 2005 survey of country indices that rank or assess countries according to some measure. The present update includes new indices launched between June 2005 and November 2006.

The picture that emerges from this update confirms the main findings of the 2005 report, that is, the quantity of indices has been accelerating since 1990, with a greater number of institutions elaborating such indices. Moreover, the issues covered by the indices are growing and are varied in nature ranging from children’s health to a country’s business environment.

The aim of the survey is to identify country indices that rank or assess their performance in a diverse set of issues including competitiveness, governance, social aspects, human rights, the environment, security and globalization, amongst others. Indices taken for consideration in this survey cover either a particular set of countries or the world.

The main findings include

  • there has been a growing trend, in both quantity of indices and variety of issuing institutions (either public or private) that are elaborating such indices.
  • approximately 83 per cent of the indices in the sample have been created in the 1991-2006 period
  • the bulk of the indices has been elaborated by private, non-profit institutions, followed by public institutions such as international organizations.
  • of the 125 institutions (and authors) that participated in the elaboration of these 165 indices, close to 22 per cent are responsible for constructing two or more indices.
Since 2000, new issues and topics have been in discussion in the world, which prompted
the creation of new indices. These new issues have been classified as:
  • offshore and global production
  • innovation and knowledge creation
  • policy coherence andprogress on commitments
  • environmental performance
Amongst these new issues, there are now 4 globalization indices—all created during the 2000-2006 period.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.