Back to results

We unveil our new Development Index

18/09/2013Business / Research / Global

Standard Chartered has today launched the Standard Chartered Development Index (SCDI), as part of a new report entitled ‘Measuring sustainable development’.

The SCDI measures the change in various development indicators from 2000-12 using GDP per capita, years of education, life expectancy, environmental health (including air pollution and availability of fresh water) and ecosystem vitality (or the long-term sustainability of the environment, including climate change); it is an indicator of progress over a period of time, rather than a static ranking at any given point.

Ghana, Uganda, Korea, Bangladesh and Singapore emerged as the best performers in the inaugural SCDI, with Egypt, Nigeria, India, Brazil and Indonesia making up the remainder of the ‘Top Ten’.

The report covers 31 economies, both from the developing and developed world. The majority of the economies in the sample, particularly emerging markets, have seen progress across most of the five factors of sustainable growth. Over the 12-year period, emerging economies have ‘grown’ faster than developed countries, not only in terms of gross domestic product but also in improving education, life expectancy and environmental well-being. However, most emerging economies have retreated in terms of ecosystem vitality, while developed countries have mostly improved.

The report seeks to provide answers for global policy makers who are increasingly looking beyond maximising economic growth and seeking ways to define, quantify and achieve sustainable development even as they try and relate economic development with the quest for human ‘well-being’ and ‘happiness’.

John Calverley, Head of Macroeconomic Research and the author of the report, said: “The idea that GDP growth is not the only thing worth pursuing is far from new but it has become much more widely recognised and researched in recent decades. Our report and the measures within the SCDI highlight the point that as countries become more wealthy and middle classes grow, these issues naturally become higher priorities and are implemented via regulations, government spending or stakeholder insistence.

“Issues remain around distribution of income and meeting the need for environmental sustainability across many of our markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. However, there are significant efforts among governments, international agencies, NGOs and researchers to analyse, discuss and formulate policies on these issues. We hope our report makes a contribution to this continued focus.”

Read the full report (PDF)

Want to know more? Read John's blog post.

For further information please contact:

Shaun Gamble
Senior Media Relations Manager
Standard Chartered Bank
Tel: +44 20 7885 5934

John Calverley
Head of Macroeconomic Research
Standard Chartered Bank
Tel: +1 905 534 0763

Note to Editors:

Standard Chartered – leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets and earns around 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years. Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

With 1,700 offices in 70 markets, the Group offers exciting and challenging international career opportunities to over 88,000 staff. It is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. Standard Chartered’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, ‘Here for good’.

For further information please visit Follow Standard Chartered on and on Twitter @StanChart.

Hear from our experts and comment on our blog, visit


What’s next?

Hear from our experts

Our expert discusses how emerging economies are making big leaps in real development.

Read the article

Our economists

Need an expert view? Find out more about our team of economists, including subject areas and contact details.

Read more

Our views

Our views blog

Our experts are sharing their opinions on the world of banking. Read their views and add your own.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn Email to a friend Print the page