International indicators

The World

International comparative indicators were last updated in 2009. Owing to resource constraints, these have not been collated since. However, more up to date data may be available directly from the originating international organisations.

If you have any comments or enquiries concerning the discontinuation of this publication, please contact us via

To put UK progress in sustainable development in an international context, and to highlight worldwide trends and challenges, a set of international data has been compiled to complement the national indicators.

Available data are limited, but international versions have been compiled for 32 of the 68 national indicators. Since some indicators comprise more than one component measure there are 46 measures in total, listed below.

The production of the indicators and their presentation is explained at Methods. Full data and resources for the international indicators are also available.

Indicator Description
Greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions: Greenhouse gas emissions per capita
Carbon dioxide emissions: CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels
Electricity generation
Renewable energy: Percentage contribution of renewables to total energy supply
Resource use
Domestic material consumption: Domestic Material Consumption
Energy consumption: Energy used per capita
Water abstractions: Volume of water abstracted per capita
Waste: Municipal waste generated per capita and percentage recyled and composted
Natural resources
Bird Populations: Farmland birds population index
Agricultural inputs: Fertiliser used per hectare of arable land
Protected areas: Percentage of surface area protected
Fish landings: Fishery products landed per capita
Emissions of air pollutants: NOx , PM10, SO2 and VOC emissions per capita
Economy and population
Economic output: Gross Domestic Product per capita
Total Investment: Total investment as a percentage of GDP
Social expenditure: Public social expenditure as a percentage of GDP
Demography: (contextual) Population and population of working age (contextual indicator)
Households size: Average number of persons per household
Crime: Numbers of car thefts, burglaries and assaults per 100 inhabitants
Employment and poverty
Employment: Percentage participation
Childhood poverty: Percentage of children below the poverty threshold
Young adults: Percentage of 15-19 year olds not in employment, education or training
Pensioner poverty: Percentage of pensioners persons aged 65 and over at risk of poverty
Education: Percentage of 25-64 year olds with tertiary level qualifications
Health and mortality
Health: (a) Infant deaths per live 1000 births; and, (b) Avergae life expectancy at birth
Mortality: Death rates from (a) cardio-vascular disease; and, (b) cancer; and, (c) suicides
Smoking: Regular daily smokers aged 15 and over
Obesity: Percentage of persons aged 15 and over overweight or obese
Road fatalities: Number of people and children killed per million population
Social justice/Environmental equality
Air quality and health: Urban ozone and particulate concentration
Slums: Percentage of population living in slums

The international measures do not always correspond exactly with the national measures owing to limitations in data availability and differences in methodology of data collection. In many cases definitions differ and caution is therefore required when making international comparisons.

The international / national indicator correspondance table (Excel download, right) shows the national set of indicators and equivalent international indicators.

Page last modified: 29 July, 2011

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