The Economist Intelligence Unit has one of the largest and most experienced country and industry analysis teams in the world. Our 100 full-time country experts and economists, based in offices around the world, have a thorough grounding in economics, politics, risk and industry. Most have lived and worked in the region they cover; many are fluent in local languages; and three out of four have advanced degrees. To ensure that this expertise remains fresh and up to date, each country analyst focuses on two or three countries, and visits them regularly.

Our experts are supported by a huge network of contributors based in virtually every country of the world. Currently numbering 650, our contributors report on recent economic and political events, comment on the business environment and legislative changes, and give their views on political, economic and social trends.

Latest Press Releases

  • France leads new food index, followed by Japan, with good performance for nutrition, food waste and agricultural sustainability. India and Ethiopia face severe nutritional challenges,…
    in Latest Press Releases
  • Informal networks vital source of support to 78% of start-ups. Over half of entrepreneurs belong to business-networking groups on global platforms such as Facebook and…
    in Latest Press Releases
  • According to a new survey, uncertainty about economic growth is by far the top concern of treasurers worldwide Low or even negative interest rates are…
    in Latest Press Releases

Twitter Feed

#US #GDP growth rate for Q1 2020 fell sharply to -1.51% QoQ as on April 3rd. To find out more, read our latest nowc… https://t.co/jSomXLppl6

Follow the spread of confirmed cases across regions and track the worst-affected countries with our #COVID19 pandem… https://t.co/Cs7sHPFTLW

RT @AgatheDemarais: Latest @TheEIU global forecasts are up (they don't look good) • Coronavirus will sink growth in Q2 across developed eco…

Across #Europe, the containment measures adopted to slow the spread of #coronavirus will lead all economies to cont… https://t.co/Kfoe5y2xq4
FOLLOW The Economist Intelligence Unit ON_TWITTER
Thursday, 29 September 2016

US tops index measuring the capacity for social innovation


  • High-income countries, particularly OECD members, top the Social Innovation Index
  • Data transparency is crucial in promoting social innovation, but few countries are open enough
  • Legal frameworks for social enterprises are still rare

A new report released today (September 29th) by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) finds the top ten countries with the most capacity for social innovation are mainly rich Western nations: aside from the US (1st), Canada (3rd) and New Zealand (6th), all others are wealthy European nations. Saudi Arabia, Paraguay and the Philippines occupy the bottom three positions in the index.

The Social Innovation Index 2016, sponsored by Nippon Foundation, is a ranking of 45 countries in the environment that enables social innovation. The index is a first-of-its kind in content and scale and sheds light on some of the common characteristics of social innovation seen around the world. It finds that much work remains to be done to enable social innovation efforts to flourish.

Top ranking countries in the Index tend to have high per-capita income and human development indicators as well as stable democratic governance, and institutional and policy support for social innovation were given a relatively heavy weighting in the Index.

Many experts see policies around data transparency as one of the main building blocks for social innovation, particularly in the delivery of social services at the community level. The EIU awarded only nine countries the top score in the indicator that measures whether governments collect and publish relevant data and research the impact of and need for social innovation.

Legal frameworks that underpin social innovation are complex but one of the most important aspects is whether a country has a legal framework for social enterprises. To date only seven countries in the Index have such frameworks in place. Legal protection and regulation is necessary to bring social enterprises to the attention of policymakers and the public, clearing ambiguities around their status, which can sometimes have financial consequences.

Naka Kondo, editor of the report, said:

“Policymakers, non-government organisations, charities and entrepreneurs across the world are showing increasing interest in ‘social innovation’ as a means of addressing various problems from poverty and homelessness to environmental degradation. For social innovation to really gain traction there must be data proving its impact and this data must be freely available. This would help secure further support from governments, businesses, donors and investors. At the moment efforts to collect such data are lacking in most countries.”

View the index and download the whitepaper


Press enquiries:

Mathew Hanratty, corporate communications manager

+44 (0)20 7576 8546

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Naka Kondo, Editor

+81 (3) 5223 2166

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Trisha Suresh, consultant, custom research

+852 2585 3838

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hong Kong



Notes to editors

About the Social Innovation Index 2016

The EIU build the Social Innovation Index 2016 to assess the capacity of 45 countries to enable social innovation. The Index includes seven quantitative data points and 10 qualitative scores by EIU analysts, grouped into four pillars: policy and institutional framework, financing, entrepreneurship and depth of civil society. A full explanation of the methodology is contained in Appendix 3 of the whitepaper.

The 45 countries covered in the Index are (listed by region):

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, United States, Uruguay

Asia-Pacific: Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand

Europe: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Middle East and Africa: Ghana, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa


About the Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information can be found at www.eiu.com or www.twitter.com/theeiu.


About Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Foundation was established in 1962 as a non-profit philanthropic organization, active in Japan and around the world. Initially our efforts focused largely on the maritime and shipping fields, but since then the range of our activities has expanded to education, social welfare, public health, and other fields—carried out in more than 100 countries to date. Together with our more than 20 partner organizations in Japan and worldwide we are funding and assisting community-led efforts aimed at realizing a more peaceful and prosperous global society. More information can be found at http://www.nippon-foundation.or.jp/en/

An Economist Group business © 2011 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. All rights reserved.

About us | Privacy | Terms of access | Contact us | Help

Connect with us