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Social and welfare issues

Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019

An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand

Published on May 20, 2019

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a broad and ambitious programme for the world to achieve by 2030. With 17 Goals, underpinned by 169 Targets, the complex and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda presents national governments with huge challenges for implementation. To assist countries, the OECD has developed a unique methodology allowing comparison of progress across SDG goals and targets. Based on the UN Global List of 244 indicators, this study evaluates the distance that OECD countries need to travel to meet SDG targets for which data is currently available. This 2019 edition of the study presents the latest results for OECD countries, both on average and individually, as well as new exploratory approaches to assessing progress over time and transboundary aspects of the SDGs. By providing a high-level overview of countries’ strengths and weaknesses in performance across the SDGs, this study aims to support member countries in navigating the SDGs and in setting their own priorities for action within the broad 2030 Agenda.

SUMMARIESavailable in 5 languages

English Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019 (Summary in English)
French Mesurer la distance à parcourir pour atteindre les cibles des ODD 2019
Spanish Medir la distancia hasta las metas de los ODS 2019
Japanese SDGターゲットまでの距離を測る 2019年版
Chinese 2019年可持续发展具体目标进展报告

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword
Reader’s guide
Executive summary
How far are OECD countries from achieving the SDG targets?
The methodology behind measuring distance to the SDG targets
Measuring distance to the SDG targets at the country level35 chapters available
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Australia
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Austria
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Belgium
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Canada
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Chile
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – The Czech Republic
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Denmark
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Estonia
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Finland
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – France
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Germany
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Greece
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Hungary
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Iceland
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Ireland
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Israel
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Italy
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Japan
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Korea
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Latvia
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Lithuania
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Luxembourg
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Mexico
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – The Netherlands
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – New Zealand
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Norway
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Poland
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Portugal
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – The Slovak Republic
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Slovenia
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Spain
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Sweden
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Switzerland
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Turkey
Measuring distance to the SDG targets – The United Kingdom
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Key Findings 

 

 

Data coverage is uneven across SDG goals
The report covers 132 of the 244 indicators on the UN Global SDG Indicator List for OECD countries. Data coverage is uneven across the 17 goals. While over 90% of the targets are covered by at least one indicator for SDG3 Health, SDG9 Infrastructure and SDG4 Education, only 30% of targets are covered for SDG14 Oceans and SDG12 Sustainable Production. Limited data coverage means that results could change dramatically when these data gaps are filled.

Share of the 2030 Agenda’s targets covered in this Study by at least one indicator, by goal
Percentage, all OECD countries

Share of the 2030 Agenda’s targets covered in this Study by at least one indicator, by goal, Percentage, all OECD countries‌‌‌

D‌ownload graph and data in Excel

 

Progressing towards or moving away from SDG targets
As well as assessing the distances from the 2030 targets, this report also looks at the direction of change over time. OECD countries have been making progress on some targets, such as smoking rates, share of renewable energy, energy intensity, and material productivity (targets 3.a, 7.2, 7.3 and 12.2). However, over one-third of OECD countries have been moving away from targets in other areas, such as vaccination coverage, GDP and GDP productivity growth rates and unemployment (targets 3.b, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.5).

Average number of OECD countries by types of trends, by goals

Average number of OECD countries by types of trends, by goals‌‌

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Relative poverty remains a challenge
Although extreme poverty (target 1.1) is rare in OECD countries, relative poverty (target 1.2) remains a challenge. With 14% of the population in OECD countries still below the poverty line (defined as 50% of median income), and poverty rates rising over the past 30 years, OECD countries will have to make considerable efforts to reach the challenging goal of halving relative poverty rates by 2030.  

 

Related work

 

Contact

wellbeing@oecd.org