Recoupling Dashboard: Solidarity Index

The Recoupling Dashboard debuts two new indexes, which provide a complete picture of wellbeing beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 35 countries. The Agency Index and the Solidarity Index. They were first presented in Recoupling Economic and Social Progress, which explores a new theoretical and empirical approach of assessment of human wellbeing, relevant to current challenges of social fragmentation in the presence of globalization and technological advances. 

Fundamental human needs as dimensions of wellbeing
Since the success of homo sapiens is built largely on cooperation and niche construction, humans evolved cooperative motives to socialize, particularly in groups of limited size. They follow moral values of care, fairness, loyalty, authority and sanctity.

The Recoupling Index presents the Solidarity Index to cover the needs of humans as social creatures, living in societies that generate a sense of social belonging, social cohesion and social inclusion. Solidarity is interpreted as a public good, accruing to all members of the social group by contributing to, being affiliated with, esteemed by and supported by one’s social group. Furthermore, it concerns the idea of belonging within social groups, which may be nested within larger social groups and political institutions that pursue complementary ends.

Deriving wellbeing from contributing to social wellbeing and belonging to a social group

Following this logic, social solidarity has become a fundamental source of human wellbeing. Together with empowerment, the capacity to shape one’s own environment, the fulfillment of this need can be combined to ensure social prosperity.

The dimensions of a recoupled society: Environmental Performance, Solidarity, GDP per capita and Agency

For the Solidarity Index, represented in the Recoupling Dashboard, country performance is measured across three key components:

Giving Behavior

is an indicator for showing social solidarity through three giving behaviors: helpling a stranger, donating money and volunteering time.

Trust in other People

is a measure based on the question: “Generally speaking would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be careful in dealing with people?”

Social Support

reflects the sense that one is supported and can count on family and friends. The Solidarity Index is measured by social support as the percentage of people who report that they have friends whom they can count on in times of trouble. 

Solidarity Index Scores and Rankings 2007 to 2018

The Recoupling Dashboard analyzes data from 35 countries for the years 2007 to 20181. Over the past decade, the results show that some countries have experienced a decline in solidarity score or remained unchanged, while the score has increased for others.

The six countries that experienced the highest drop in solidarity scores are Mexico, Czech Republic, United States, Hungary, Italy and the United Kingdom. The reasons for this drop, in terms of components of the Solidarity Index, differ between countries. The United States, for example, shows declining levels of trust and social support, whilst in Italy, the main driving factor of the country’s downturn in the Solidarity Index is the sharp decline in giving behavior.

In the following table, you can see the World Rankings for the Solidarity Index. For the years 2007 to 2018, the index shows which country was ranked in which position out of 35 countries based on its Solidarity Index score. The score is shown to the right of the country name. Move the table to the right to see the results of data analysis for subsequent years. The development of selected countries can be tracked by color.

World Ranking per year 201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007
1New Zealand0,86New Zealand0,84Denmark0,85New Zealand0,86Denmark0,85New Zealand0,82Denmark0,86Denmark0,84Denmark0,83Denmark0,83Denmark0,83Denmark0,83
2Denmark0,85Denmark0,83New Zealand0,85Norway0,84New Zealand0,84Denmark0,82Australia0,82Netherlands0,81Netherlands0,82Netherlands0,82Netherlands0,81New Zealand0,80
3Norway0,85Iceland0,82Norway0,85Iceland0,83Norway0,84Norway0,82New Zealand0,81New Zealand0,81New Zealand0,82New Zealand0,81New Zealand0,81Australia0,80
10Sweden0,73Sweden0,73Canada0,74Sweden0,74Switzerland0,73Finland0,74Switzerland0,74Canada0,73Finland0,72Sweden0,72Sweden0,71United States0,73
11Canada0,71Switzerland0,72Ireland0,74Switzerland0,72United States0,71United States0,71United States0,69United States0,71Sweden0,70Finland0,71Finland0,71Finland0,72
12Germany0,67Germany0,66United States0,69United States0,69Sweden0,70Sweden0,69Sweden0,68United Kingdom0,69United States0,69United States0,69United States0,70Sweden0,71
13United Kingdom0,67United States0,65Germany0,67United Kingdom0,68United Kingdom0,67United Kingdom0,69United Kingdom0,65Sweden0,68United Kingdom0,68United Kingdom0,68United Kingdom0,68United Kingdom0,70
14United States0,67United Kingdom0,64United Kingdom0,66Germany0,66Austria0,66Austria0,67Austria0,64Austria0,64Austria0,66Austria0,66Austria0,65Austria0,65
19Israel0,56South Africa0,55Israel0,55South Africa0,51Luxembourg0,52Italy0,54France0,50France0,49Italy0,49Italy0,49Spain0,51Italy0,54
20South Africa0,56Israel0,55South Africa0,50Italy0,49South Africa0,49Spain0,51Japan0,48Japan0,48France0,47Spain0,49Italy0,49Japan0,48
23France0,45France0,45France0,44France0,45Japan0,46China0,44Hungary0,40Poland0,44Czech Republic0,46Czech Republic0,46Czech Republic0,46Poland0,43
24Japan0,43Japan0,45China0,44China0,43France0,41Hungary0,43China0,40Italy0,43Japan0,43Japan0,43Japan0,43Czech Republic0,43
25Russian Federation0,40Poland0,40Poland0,39Poland0,43Czech Republic0,38Poland0,41Czech Republic0,39Czech Republic0,42Hungary0,39Hungary0,39Mexico0,36Hungary0,40
26Poland0,39Brazil0,37Russian Federation0,39Portugal0,38Hungary0,37South Africa0,39Poland0,38Hungary0,39China0,38Mexico0,36Hungary0,36Mexico0,38
27Portugal0,37Russian Federation0,37Brazil0,38Russian Federation0,38Russian Federation0,37Czech Republic0,38South Africa0,38Chile0,36Mexico0,36China0,36Brazil0,36Brazil0,34
28Czech Republic0,37Portugal0,36Czech Republic0,38Chile0,37Poland0,37Chile0,37Chile0,36Brazil0,36Brazil0,35Brazil0,36Russian Federation0,35Portugal0,34
29Hungary0,34Chile0,35Portugal0,38Czech Republic0,36Portugal0,36Portugal0,34Brazil0,35South Africa0,34South Africa0,35Russian Federation0,35China0,35China0,33
30Chile0,33Czech Republic0,34Chile0,36Hungary0,33Chile0,34Brazil0,34Russian Federation0,31Russian Federation0,33Russian Federation0,34Chile0,34Chile0,34Chile0,33
31Brazil0,31Hungary0,33Hungary0,32Brazil0,33Brazil0,34Russian Federation0,32Portugal0,28Portugal0,29Chile0,34South Africa0,33South Africa0,32Russian Federation0,32
32Turkey0,27Greece0,28Turkey0,26Turkey0,26Greece0,26India0,22Mexico0,19India0,25Portugal0,29Portugal0,29Portugal0,29South Africa0,27

Data Sources

1 Data from external, international sources were used to take up the already established indexes of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability on the one hand, and to determine the indexes first presented with the Recoupling Dashboard on the other – The indexes of solidarity and empowerment are based on data exclusively provided.

World Giving Index (CAF)

This index relies on a simple averaging of three giving behaviors: Helping a stranger, Donating money, Volunteering time. Each country is given a percentage score and countries are ranked on the basis of these scores. The Index measures countries by proportion of population giving.

Trust (WVS/EVS)

Trust is based on the question: Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be careful in dealing with people? Data comes from the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey.

Social Support (OECD)

Percentage of people who report that they have friends or relatives whom they can count on in times of trouble. Data comes from the Gallup World Poll and is extracted from OECD “How’s Life.”

Press Contact

Are you interested in more information or in scheduling an interview? Please contact Christine Coester, Head of Communications via e-mail: More information on the Recoupling Dashboard can be found in the Recoupling Dashboard press kit.

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