- Key findings
- Expand/Collapse Indicators
- 1. No poverty
- 2. Zero hunger
- 3. Good health and well-being
- 4. Quality education
- 5. Gender equality
- 6. Clean water and sanitation
- 7. Affordable and clean energy
- 8. Decent work and economic growth
- 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- 10. Reduced inequalities
- 11. Sustainable cities and communities
- 12. Responsible consumption and production
- 13. Climate action
- 14. Life below water
- 15. Life on land
- 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
- 17. Partnerships for the goals
- Main tables
- Policy context
How has the EU progressed towards the SDGs?
Over the last five years, the EU made progress towards almost all of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG). Progress in some goals has been faster than in others, and within goals, movement away from the sustainable development objectives also occurred in specific areas.
The figure below shows a statistical summary of EU progress towards the 17 SDGs over this period.
EU progress over the past five-year period appears to have been strongest towards SDG 3 ‘good health and well-being’, followed by SDG 4 ‘quality education’ and SDG 7 ‘affordable and clean energy’.
The EU also made progress towards SDG 11 ‘sustainable cities and communities’, SDG 12 ‘responsible consumption and production’, SDG 5 ‘gender equality’, SDG 8 ‘decent work and economic growth’, SDG 17 ‘partnership for the goals’, SDG 1 ‘no poverty’, and, to a minor extent, SDG 15 ‘life on land’ and SDG 2 ‘zero hunger’. SDG 9 ‘industry, innovation and infrastructure’ is characterized by an equal number of positive and negative developments of the indicators.
It should be noted that progress towards a given goal does not necessarily mean that the status of that goal is satisfactory for the EU. For example, in the case of SDG 15, which focuses on terrestrial ecosystems, the indicators chosen mostly show good progress, but this should not lead to the conclusion that ecosystems or biodiversity in the EU are in good health. In the case of SDG 2, emphasis was put on environmental indicators, as there are no major concerns on food security.
Based on the selected indicators, the EU appears to have moved away from the sustainable development objectives for SDG 10 ‘reduced inequalities’ over the past five years. This is due to the continued rise of income inequalities within EU Member States, a development that is not specific for the past five years but that has already been visible since 2005.
In the case of four goals – SDG 6 ‘clean water and sanitation’, SDG 13 ‘climate action’, SDG 14 ‘life below water’ and SDG 16 ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’ – trends cannot be calculated due to insufficient comparable data over the past five years; or a trend calculation is not applicable.
In order to get a quick overview of the progress of each SDG and its subindicators, please click on the images in the wheel below.