Evolution by countries and regions

Number of countries
in each BCI level
by reference year
click to enlarge


click to enlarge

In 2009, almost half the countries of the world (42.1%) have a BCI value that is low, very low or critical. At the current rate of progress, in 2015 the average BCI value of the countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will barely be at the very low level, and all the other regions of the world except for Europe and North America will still fall far short of the acceptable level.

Since 2005, less than half of the countries of the world have made progress (43%) and almost one fourth have regressed. A third of the countries (33%) have not managed to raise their BCI value by more than 1% and only one out of every six countries (18%) shows significant progress.

There is an enormous gap in living conditions between the region with the highest average BCI (North America with 99 points) and the regions with the worst averages (sub-Saharan Africa with 70 points and South Asia with 71).

South Asia was the region with the worst BCI average in 2004. It is making fast progress, but the situation is still extremely critical.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the situation is similarly critical, as shown by an average  BCI value of only 70 points, and the average evolution shows an improvement of a mere 0.6%. At this rate it would take centuries to achieve the social development goals internationally agreed for 2015! East Asia and the Pacific, like Central Asia, show some results in improving their basic capabilities, with an average progress of around 2% in each. North America, the Middle East and North Africa all registered rates of progress of 3% and more, but this is less remarkable because they departed from a better situation and the effort required is therefore less.

The latest data gives cause for concern about Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that already ranked  low in terms of basic capabilities, and even regressed (by -0.2%). The only regions that have remained at the acceptable level on the index are Europe and North America. Europe has held steady with a positive variation of 0.6%, while North America has enjoyed a considerable increase in its BCI average (2.9% over the 2004 value). 

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