Cascade of Rights

OWID presents work from many different people and organizations. When citing this entry, please also cite the original data source. This entry can be cited as:

Max Roser (2016) – ‘Cascade of Rights’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/cascade-of-rights/ [Online Resource]

# Empirical View

# Use of the phrases ‘civil rights’, ‘women’s rights’, ‘children’s rights’, ‘gay rights’ and ‘animal rights’ in English-language books, 1900-2008 – Google Ngram1

Cascade of Rights in English-language Books - Google Ngram0

# Shifting social views on homosexuality, women and race in the USA (in %), 1987-2012 – Pew Research2
Shifting Social Values on Homosexuality, Women, Race in the USA (1987-2012) - PewResearch0

# Social values correlation: gender equality scale and approval of homosexuality for select countries, 1995-2001 – Norris and Inglehart (2004)3

Social Values Correlation Gender Equality Scale & Approval of Homosexuality for a number of countries (1995-2001) - Norris and Inglehart (2004)0

# Prosperity is correlated with better human rights protection

The chart below plots the level of GDP per capita against the Human Rights Protection Score from Schnakenberg and Fariss. We see that more prosperous countries tend to protect human rights better. Some resource rich economies – Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Equatorial-Guinea and others – are outliers which are both rich and have low human rights protection scores. The countries with the lowest human rights protection scores are also poor economies.

Here is an older visualisation that shows the same relationship.

# Human rights rating and GDP per capita for 85 countries, 1992 – Land, Michalos, and Sirgy (ed.) (2011)4

Human Rights Rating and GDP per Capita, 85 Countries, 1992 - Land, Michalos, and Sirgy (ed.) (2011)0

# Data Sources

# World Values Survey
  • Data: Survey answers to questions about various social values
  • Geographical coverage: Almost 100 countries
  • Time span: 1981 to present
  • Available at: Online here
# European Values Survey
  • Data: Survey answers to questions about various social values
  • Geographical coverage: 47 European countries and regions
  • Time span: 1981-2008
  • Available at: Online here