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, we examine trends across a broad set of socio-economic indicators in countries with a sustained history of mineral dependence over the past 20 years. The timeframe for this trend analysis is the two decades in the lead-up to the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Launched in 2015, the SDGs are an ambitious set of 17 Global Goals that represent a universal call to action by UN member states to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030.