Social Progress in Mining-Dependent Countries: Analysis through the lens of the SDGs

The question of whether an abundance of mineral resources hinders rather than enhances the economic progress of countries is complex and the subject of extensive study and debate. These studies have tended to focus on economic or governance metrics and overlooked social indicators meaning there is very limited research in this area. We know little about whether or how social development has progressed in resource-rich countries on metrics such as access to food, life expectancy, health, education, or water and sanitation.

To close this research gap, this report by AlphaBeta and the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) examines trends across a broad set of socio-economic indicators in countries with a sustained history of mineral dependence over the past 20 years. The trends are encouraging as most mining-dependent countries have improved significantly across various socio-economic indicators since 1995 and more than 80 percent of these countries have also managed to close the gap on global best performers. These findings are also echoed at the subnational level for four countries: Chile, Ghana, Peru and Indonesia.

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