The inaugural report of the World Economic Forum measures the social mobility of 82 countries. Pakistan ranks low on the index at 79th place with an index score of just 36.7. Pakistan ranked better than just Cameroon, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire. The ranking was on the basis of the performance of the countries in terms of healthcare, education, technology access, working conditions, and social protection.
Social mobility basically refers to the movement of individuals up or down the socioeconomic ladder relative to their present standing. This means, for instance, a low-income family moving up to become part of the middle class.
Countries that have a high level of social mobility have a lower level of income inequality and provide more equal opportunities for citizens across each of the five pillars.
The title for the most socially mobile country in the world was taken by Denmark with an index score of 85.2. As per WEF, if a person in Denmark was born in a low-income family it would take two generations for it to reach a median income. In comparison to this, someone in Brazil or South Africa would take 9 generations to be able to improve his/her income/class status.
Denmark was followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland with an index score of 83.6, 83.6, 83.5, and 82.7 respectively.
The bottom five countries with the least social mobility were Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cameron, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire with 40.2, 36.7, 36.0, 36.0, and 34.5 index scores. India also ranked low on the scale at 76th position.
It is important for countries to invest in social mobility as those that have less social mobility might experience damaging consequences for both the government and the citizens.