Advancing the understanding of what drives success in nations

Social Capital on a rise

Social Capital has improved across all regions, other than North America, in 2023. However, while the bottom 40 countries are improving in Social Capital, the middle and the top countries account for most of the progress, creating an overall divergence between the bottom and the rest.

Over the last decade, 127 countries have improved in Social Tolerance, 119 in Interpersonal Trust and 93 in Social Networks. For instance, the percentage of people saying that their area is a good place for ethnic minorities has increased from 60% to 71%. In Eastern Europe, the percentage has improved from 41% to 74%, contributing to the region seeing the greatest strengthening of Social Capital. That can be seen as a response to the War in Ukraine.

Following Russia's attack, there has been an unprecedented level of support for Ukrainians, especially in Eastern Europe. Many countries, including Poland and Lithuania, removed visa requirements and embraced Ukrainian refugees of war. Consequently, Poland welcomed 1.4 million Ukrainian refugees. While the Kremlin has been trying to undermine the values of liberal democracy, the people of Europe have responded by embracing them further, as exemplified by a significant jump of Social Capital in Eastern Europe.

Social Capital has also been on a rise in Asia. Singapore has experienced one of the greatest increases in Social Capital in the past decade, primarily led by an increase in social networks and civic and social participation. In fact, Singapore has the second-highest social media penetration rate in Southeast Asia, showing increasing social interactions between people in the country.

Additionally, civic and social participation is increasing across regions. Globally, the percentage of people who have donated money to a charity has increased from 24% to 36%. The largest rises have been in Eastern Europe, and East Asia and the Pacific. Lithuania alone – a country of 2.8 million – has donated 37 million euros to Ukraine. Again, this has shown European unity and solidarity amidst Russia’s attempts to undermine it.