Positive SDG trends


Statistical data help us meet the challenges facing us. Together we can act to protect the planet and improve our living conditions. The 2030 Agenda and the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) provide a framework enabling us to find solutions.

At the end of 2020, which has been a strange and difficult year, the Road to Bern project/UNWDF team wanted to pass on some good news about the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs. On each of the 17 days leading up to Christmas, we have published a positive development towards sustainable development. For each of the 17 sustainable development goals, a positive trend, taken from the UN statistical report, has been published on the Road to Bern’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. We encourage you to talk about them with your family and friends because #WeLoveTheSDGS!

Discover our photo gallery of the 17 SDGs in festive attire below. You can also watch our video, showing work behind the scenes.

The Road to Bern project/UNWDF team.

Photos of the 17 SDGs


No poverty

The share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty declined from 15.7 per cent in 2010 to 10.0 per cent in 2015. Nowcast estimates put the global poverty rate in 2019 at 8.2 per cent.


Zero hunger

Chronic undernutrition, or stunting, puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections. The proportion of children under 5 years of age suffering from stunting decreased from 32 per cent in 2000 to 21 per cent in 2019.


Good health and well-being

Immunization is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Coverage of the required three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine increased from 72 per cent in 2000 to 86 per cent in 2018.


Quality education

The proportion of children and youth out of primary and secondary school has declined from 26 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2010 and 17 per cent in 2018.


Gender equality

As of 1 January 2020, women’s representation in national parliaments (lower chamber and unicameral parliaments) had reached 24.9 per cent – up from 22.3 per cent in 2015.


Clean water and sanitation

The proportion of the global population using safely managed drinking water services increased from 61 per cent in 2000 to 71 per cent in 2017.


Affordable and clean energy

The proportion of the global population with access to electricity increased from 83 per cent in 2010 to 90 per cent in 2018, meaning that over 1 billion people acquired this essential service.


Decent work and economic growth

The global average output per worker – a measure of labour productivity – has steadily increased since 2000, with growth interrupted only briefly during the economic downturn of 2009.


Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Globally, Research & Development has continued to grow at a brisk pace, reaching $2.2 trillion in 2017, up from $1.4 trillion in 2010.


Reduced inequalities

Progress in shared prosperity has been strongest in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, with the bottom 40 per cent of the population growing annually by 4.9 per cent, on average.


Sustainable cities and communities

The pandemic has made it clear that urban planning is crucial for better public health. As of May 2020, 154 countries have some form of national urban plan, which many are now revisiting to help prevent the next pandemic.


Responsible consumption and production

The share of companies reporting in the environmental, social, and institutional and governance dimensions that is aligned with the minimum requirements of SDG indicator 12.6.1.


Climate action

Global greenhouse gas emissions of developed countries and economies in transition have declined by 6.5 per cent over the period 2000–2018.


Life below water

The ocean is the planet’s largest carbon sink, absorbing around 23 per cent of annual CO2 emissions generated by human activity and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Life on land

While forest loss remains high, 2020 data show that the proportion of forests in protected areas and under long-term management plans, as well as certified forest area, increased or remained stable at the global level and in most regions of the world.


Peace, justice and strong institutions

The right to information held by public authorities is an integral aspect of freedom of expression and serves as a mechanism to support government openness and accountability. Laws ensuring this right have now been adopted by 127 countries.


Partnerships for the goals

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing economies remained stable in 2018. It rose by 2 per cent to $706 billion, but with significant differences among regions. Developing countries in Asia are the largest recipient region of FDI.

Behind the scenes video