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Updates to the Sustainable Development Goal indicators

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) team at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have begun a project to put in place several changes to the SDG indicators.

Our work will ensure the indicators comply with 36 changes to the SDG indicators recommended by the United Nations (UN) in March 2020. The changes include replacing, deleting, refining or adjusting existing indicators. In a few instances, the review proposed additional indicators.

Within these four groups, the breakdown of changes amounts to:

  • 14 proposals for replacements of existing indicators
  • 8 proposals for revisions of existing indicators
  • 8 proposals for additional indicators
  • 6 proposals for deleting indicators, including the partial deletion of 4.2.1 (tracking the development of children under five)

The UN has published more information on these proposals.

We aim to prioritise changes made on our UK SDG website, and will then work to fill the new indicator gaps. When complete, users will still be able to access the old indicator data, which we will store in a data archive.

We will keep our users informed through information on the website. We will also continue our regular communications with our stakeholders and data providers. The UK are one of the first countries globally to put in place the 2020 changes. Once completed, we will share any lessons learned with other countries about to embark on the same exercise.

The Sustainable Development Goals are “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere”.

For more information about the Sustainable Development Goals, and the SDG 2020 indicator changes, please get in touch at