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Statistical issues in developing indicators of sustainable development

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This paper describes the background to the development of a new official set of national indicators of sustainable development—one of the first in the world to be published. The paper discusses the role of statisticians in helping to define sustainable development, and the problems of monitoring and reporting progress. The Minister of State for the Environment has announced his ambition of developing a very small set of headline indicators. This paper is intended to help to stimulate the debate over what they should be.

Keywords: Economic growth; Environment; Future generations; Green gross domestic product; Indicators; Official statistics; Social progress; Sustainable development; Targets

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-985X.00108

Affiliations: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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