About the Report
The indicators used in the past to measure human societies' success have proven to be insufficient. Economic production indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI) fail to reflect the state of natural resources or ecological conditions and both focus exclusively on the short term, without indicating whether national policies are sustainable over longer periods of time.
The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 presents an index that measures the wealth of nations by carrying out a comprehensive analysis of a country's capital assets, including manufactured capital, such as roads and factories; human capital, including education, knowledge and creativity; and natural capital, forests and minerals; and their respective values: the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI).
The preliminary IWR gives an overview on the evolution of some relevant categories of natural capital in a range of countries over a 19-year period. The report compares the decline or increase of natural capital against two other areas: produced capital and human capital. Results indicate that it is possible to trace the changes of the components of wealth by country and link these to economic growth. This highlights the impact of declines or increases in natural capital as an economic productive base.
Results show changes in inclusive wealth from 1990 to 2008 and a comparison to GDP for a group of 20 countries. This report provides policy-makers and planning authorities with a tool to assess the state of a country's productive base and its development over time.