In 2015, the members of the United Nations (UN) adopted an agenda for sustainable development. All 193 members of the UN signed up to an ambitious package of goals: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This agreement commits the UN members, including the Netherlands, to make greater efforts to end poverty and hunger, protect the Earth, defend human rights, and promote equality between men and women. The package contains a total of 17 goals that are to be achieved by 2030.
To monitor progress made towards this ambitious goal, the UN drafted a list of SDG indicators. In 2016, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) published a first report on the state of affairs in the Netherlands based on these indicators. Statistics already available at CBS were used for this purpose. The report was very well received both nationally and internationally, which was in part the motivation for publishing this second edition. This second edition was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
An extensive consultation specially organised for this second edition and involving more than thirty ministries, policy analysis organisations, knowledge institutes and NGOs produced more data for a large number of supplementary indicators in addition to those in the first report. As a result, the added data for the SDGs in this second edition come in large part from institutions from outside CBS.
The overall picture that emerges from the SDG measurements is that in a number of areas, the Netherlands ranks highly among European countries: our gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is one of the highest in the European Union (EU) and a relatively large number of Dutch citizens have confidence in institutions. A newly available indicator shows that there is good access to public transport in the Netherlands: 98.5 percent of the population lives less than two kilometres away from the nearest public transport stop. In other areas, the Netherlands occupies a low position in the European rankings. Our proportion of renewable energy is among the smallest in Europe, and the number of women in managerial positions is proportionally one of the smallest. You can read about this and a great deal more in this second edition.