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The Othering and Belonging Institute’s “Inclusiveness Index” is a holistic gauge of the degree of inclusivity experienced by marginalized groups across the globe and within the United States. Our index ranks states and nation-states in absolute and relative terms using a variety of indicators. Our instrument is unique in striving to gauge inclusivity on its own terms rather than as part of a more general assessment of group well-being, wealth or economic conditions.

We operationalize this definition of “inclusivity” by focusing primarily on the degree of institutional inclusion and protections extended to vulnerable groups across salient social cleavages, such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability. Our index focuses on social groups rather than individuals, emphasizing the kind of marginality that results from social identities and group membership.

The indicators and data sources we draw on to construct this index and gauge inclusivity are described here, but we recognize that many aspects of this issue are not captured by current data sources, and that some indicators or measures are not consistently or regularly collected in a way that would permit their incorporation into this Index. A complete description of all data sources used and a matrix of inputs can be seen in our methodology section.

This research initiative, now in its 6th year, is presented in new form this year, as an interactive web-based tool rather than a formal report. We are hopeful that this new approach will allow users to better understand the inputs and drivers of individual state-based rankings and glean deeper insights into the dynamics of inclusivity.

In particular, the main index is now presented as an interactive table. The individual state rankings and scores are displayed on the table as well as the social group rankings. By clicking individual states, you may view more detail about the indicators composing the index score, as well as how those values have changed over time. By clicking different group headings, you may also re-rank the index for that social group. These features should help users more easily understand the rankings than was possible before.

We also created an interactive webmap, where users can select particular states or countries and see rankings, scores, and group rankings as of 2021 or for any previous year in our reporting.

In addition to assessing how inclusive various societies are, the Inclusiveness Index serves as a diagnostic tool. It helps us identify places and societies that are improving, in terms of developing a more inclusive polity and set of institutions, and those places where societies are fracturing and becoming more divided along these lines. We encourage you to use our Index as a starting point for your own investigation, rather than as the final word.

For that reason, we caution that our rankings are not the definitive assessment of any national or state performance. Rather, they are intended to spark a conversation and generate further inquiry into how and why some places, communities, and nations are more inclusive than others.

Please be sure to send us your suggestions, feedback, and ideas at belonging@berkeley.edu.

For media inquiries email marcabizeid@berkeley.edu.

Additional information about this project, including past reports and downloadable data files, is available at belonging.berkeley.edu/inclusivenessindex

To cite to this index, we recommend:

Stephen Menendian, Elsadig Elsheikh, and Samir Gambhir, 2021 Inclusiveness Index (Berkeley, CA: Othering & Belonging Institute, 2022), https://belonging.berkeley.edu/inclusivenessindex.