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   Sustainable Development
The Government's approach - delivering UK sustainable development together
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National indicators


To support the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy there is a suite of 68 national sustainable development indicators. These include 20 UK Framework Indicators, which are shared by the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The remaining 48 indicators in the strategy highlight additional priorities relevant to the UK Government Strategy and fall into one or more of the four priority areas.


The table below gives a list of all 68 indicators supporting the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy. (Those that are also UK Framework Indicators are asterisked. Clicking on the indicator name leads to page with a chart/charts, assessments of progress and commentary. A smaller thumbnail chart links to a larger version in those cases where longer term trend information is available.



Greenhouse gas emissions
1. Greenhouse gas emissions:*

Kyoto target and CO2 emissions

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 SO2 emissions by electricity generators and GDP

Carbon dioxide and other emissions
6. Household energy use:

Domestic CO2 emissions, domestic energy consumption and household spending

7. Road transport:

CO2 , NOx , PM10 emissions and Gross Domestic Product

8. Private cars:

Private car CO2 emissions, car-kilometres and household spending

9. Road freight:

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) CO2 emissions, kilometres, tonnes and Gross Domestic Product

10. Manufacturing sector:

Manufacturing sector CO2 , NOx , SO2 , PM10 emissions and output

11. Service sector:

Service sector CO2 , NOx emissions and output

12. Public sector:

Public sector CO2 , NOx emissions 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

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:

(to be developed to monitor the 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 , PM10 and SO2 emissions 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*

Wellbing measures




Sustainable Development Indicators in Your Pocket

Useful links
Methods Used
Data and resources
Contact for indicator queries


Updated: 27 July 2007

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