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National indicators


The sustainable development indicators were last updated in 2010. A new set of indicators are currently under development to support the Government’s approach to mainstreaming sustainable development, and will be reported on once available. In the meantime, more up to date data may be available directly from the originating Government departments.

If you have any comments or enquiries concerning these indicators, please contact us via SDindicators@defra.gov.uk

The UK measures progress in sustainable development through a suite of 68 national sustainable development indicators.

An extensive range of economic, social and environmental indicators are compiled here to provide a statistical overview of the country’s progress. They cover a wide range of topics of everyday concern such as health, housing, jobs, crime, education, and our environment, all of which may affect whether we can live more sustainably in the future. They include measures of wellbeing, how people rate their lives and how satisfied they are with aspects that may affect them.

The indicators are updated annually and reported here: see below and under the separate listings of framework indicators (* asterisked below) and themes.

Full national indicator data and other resources are available, and a statistical report of the 68 national indicators – Measuring progress: sustainable development indicators 2010 – is available.

Formal summary assessments are also available for the total set of indicators and each of the four themes. The production of the indicators and their presentation is explained at Methods.

Indicator Description
Greenhouse gas emissions
1.Greenhouse gas emissions:* Greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions, and emissions associated with UK consumption
2.Carbon dioxide emissions by end user: CO2 emissions from industry, domestic, transport sectors (excluding international aviation and shipping)
3.Aviation and shipping emissions: Greenhouse gases from UK-based international aviation and shipping fuel bunkers
Electricity generation
4.Renewable energy: Renewable electricity generated as a percentage of total electricity
5.Electricity generation: Electricity generated, CO2, NOx and SO2emissions by electricity generators and GDP
Carbon dioxide and other emissions
6.Household energy use: Domestic CO2emissions, domestic energy consumption and household spending
7.Road transport: CO2, NOx, PM10 emissions and Gross Domestic Product
8.Private cars: Private car CO2emissions, car-kilometres and household spending
9.Road freight: Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) CO2emissions, kilometres, tonnes and Gross Domestic Product
10.Manufacturing sector: Manufacturing sector CO2, NOx, SO2, PM10emissions and output
11.Service sector: Service sector CO2, NOxemissions and output
12.Public sector: Public sector CO2, NOxemissions and output
Resource use
13.Resource use:* Domestic Material Consumption and Gross Domestic Product
14.Energy supply: UK indigenous energy production and gross inland energy consumption
15.Water resource use: Total abstractions from non-tidal surface and ground water, leakage losses and Gross Domestic Product
16.Domestic water consumption: Litres per person per day
17.Water stress: Impacts of water shortages
18.Waste:* Waste: (a) arisings by sector (b) arisings by disposal
19:Household waste per person: (a) Arisings (b) recycled or composted
Natural resources
20.Bird Populations: Bird population indices (a) farmland birds* (b) woodland birds* (c) coastal birds* (d) wintering wetland birds
21.Biodiversity conservation: (a) Priority species status (b) priority habitat status
22.Agriculture sector: Fertiliser input, farmland bird population, ammonia and methane emissions and output
23.Farming and environmental stewardship: Land covered by environmental schemes
24.Land use:(contextual) Area covered by agriculture, woodland, water or river, urban (contextual indicator)
25.Land recycling (a) New dwellings built on previously developed land or through conversions (b) all new development on previously developed land
26.Dwelling density: Average density of new housing
27.Fish stocks Sustainability of fish stocks around the UK
28.Ecological impacts of air pollution: Area of sensitive UK habitats exceeding critical loads for acidification and eutrophication
29.Emissions of air pollutants NH3, NOx, PM10and SO2emissions and GDP
30.River quality Rivers of good (a) biological (b) chemical quality
31.Flooding Number of propeties in areas at risk of flooding
Contextual indicators
32.Economic output(contextual) Gross Domestic Product
33.Productivity(contextual) UK output per worker
34.Investment(contextual) (a) Total investment (b) Social investment relative to GDP
35.Demography(contextual) Population and population of working age (contextual indicator)
36.Households and dwellings(contextual) Households, single person households and dwelling stock (contextual indicator)
37.Active community participation:* Informal and formal volunteering at least once a month in the last 12 months
38.Crime:* Crime survey and recorded crime for (a) vehicles (b) domestic burglary (c) robbery
39.Fear of crime: Fear of crime: (a) car theft (b) burglary (c) physical attack
Employment and poverty
40.Employment:* People of working age in employment
41.Workless households:* Population living in workless households (a) children (b) working age
42.Economically inactive: Percentage of people of working age who are economically inactive
43.Childhood poverty:* Children in relative low-income households (a) before housing costs (b) after housing costs
44.Young adults: 16-19 year-olds not in employment, education or training
45.Pensioner poverty:* Pensioners in relative low-income households (a) before housing costs (b) after housing costs
46.Pension provision: Proportion of working age people contributing to a non-state pension in at least three years out of the last four
47.Education:* 19 year-olds with Level 2 qualifications and above
48.Sustainable development education: To be developed to monitor the impact of formal learning on knowledge and awareness of sustainable development
49.Health inequality:* (a) Infant mortality: differences between socio-economic groups (b) Life expectancy: differences in average life expectancy between local authority areas
50.Healthy life expectancy: Healthy life expectancy (a) men and (b) women
51.Mortality rates: Death rates from (a) circulatory disease and (b) cancer, below 75 years and for areas with the worst health and deprivation indicators, and (c) suicides
52.Smoking: Prevalence of smoking (a) all adults (b) ‘routine and manual’ socio-economic groups
53.Childhood obesity: Prevalence of obesity in 2-10 year-olds
54.Diet: Proportion of people consuming (a) five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day and (b) in low income households
Mobility and access
55.Mobility:* (a) Number of trips per person by mode (b) Distance travelled per person per year by broad trip purpose
56.Getting to school: How children get to school
57.Accessibility: Access to key services
58.Road accidents: Number of people and children killed or seriously injured
Social justice/Environmental equality
59.Social Justice Social measures to be developed
60.Environmental equality Populations living in areas with, in relative terms, the least favourable environmental conditions
61.Air quality and health: (a) Annual levels of particles and ozone (b) days when air pollution is moderate or higher
62.Housing conditions: (a) Social sector homes (b) vulnerable households in the private sector in homes below the decent homes standard
63.Households living in fuel poverty: Households living in fuel poverty containing (a) pensioners (b) children (c) disabled/long-term sick
64.Homelessness: (a) Number of rough sleepers (b) number of households in temporary accommodation (i) total (ii) households with children
65.Local environment quality: Assessment of local environmental quality
66.Satisfaction in local area: Percentage of households satisfied with the quality of the places in which they live (a) overall (b) in deprived areas
67.UK international assistance Net Official Development Assistance (a) per cent of Gross National Income (b) per capita
68.Wellbeing* Wellbeing measures

Page last modified: 29 July, 2011

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