Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019

An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a broad and ambitious programme for the world to achieve by 2030. With 17 Goals, underpinned by 169 Targets, the complex and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda presents national governments with huge challenges for implementation. To assist countries, the OECD has developed a unique methodology allowing comparison of progress across SDG goals and targets. Based on the UN Global List of 244 indicators, this study evaluates the distance that OECD countries need to travel to meet SDG targets for which data is currently available. This 2019 edition of the study presents the latest results for OECD countries, both on average and individually, as well as new exploratory approaches to assessing progress over time and transboundary aspects of the SDGs. By providing a high-level overview of countries’ strengths and weaknesses in performance across the SDGs, this study aims to support member countries in navigating the SDGs and in setting their own priorities for action within the broad 2030 Agenda.


Measuring distance to the SDG targets – Korea

Based on 126 available indicators allowing a coverage of 101 of the 169 SDG targets, Korea has currently achieved 18 of the 2030 targets, and many of the remaining distances to targets are small (). For example, Korea has already achieved the targets on connection to public sewage treatment (target 6.3) and on enhancing scientific research (target 9.5) and has among the highest recycling rates among OECD countries (targets 11.6 and 12.5). However, some challenges remain; Korea is still very far (i.e. more than 3 standardised distances away) from meeting some 7% of the targets. For instance, Korea has the highest share of population with large household expenditures on health among OECD countries, a small proportion of seats held by women in the parliament and high rates of tobacco consumption (targets 3.8, 5.5 and 3.a).



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