The Sustainable Development Index (SDI)

The Sustainable Development Index (SDI) measures the ecological efficiency of human development, recognizing that development must be achieved within planetary boundaries. It was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI) for the ecological realities of the Anthropocene.

The SDI starts with each nation’s human development score (life expectancy, education, and income) and divides it by their ecological overshoot: the extent to which consumption-based CO2 emissions and material footprint exceed fair shares of planetary boundaries. Countries that achieve relatively high human development while remaining within or near planetary boundaries rise to the top.

SDI results for 2019 can be found in the map and table below. While some countries score reasonably well, none reach over 0.9. Results for 1990-2019 can be found on the time series page. Disaggregated data can be viewed on the bubble charts page. To receive updates and new data releases as they become available, please sign up here.

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