SDG 9: Targets and Indicators

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Target 9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all

  • Indicator 9.1.1: Proportion of the rural population who live within 2 km of an all-season road
  • Indicator 9.1.2: Passenger and freight volumes, by mode of transport

Target 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

  • Indicator 9.2.1: Manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP and per capita
  • Indicator 9.2.2: Manufacturing employment as a proportion of total employment

Target 9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets

  • Indicator 9.3.1: Proportion of small-scale industries in total industry value added
  • Indicator 9.3.2: Proportion of small-scale industries with a loan or line of credit

Target 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

  • Indicator 9.4.1: CO2 emission per unit of value added

Target 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending

  • Indicator 9.5.1: Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
  • Indicator 9.5.2: Researchers (in full-time equivalent) per million inhabitants

Target 9.A Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18

  • Indicator 9.A.1: Total official international support (official development assistance plus other official flows) to infrastructure

Target 9.B Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities

  • Indicator 9.B.1: Proportion of medium and high-tech industry value added in total value added

Target 9.C Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

  • Indicator 9.C.1: Proportion of population covered by a mobile network, by technology

Where to find data?

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States.

The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG9. UNIDO Statistics maintains data for six indicators related to the 9th Sustainable Development Goal “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, as you can see below.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10 calls for reducing inequalities in income as well as those based on sex, age, disability, race, class, ethnicity, religion and opportunity – both within and among countries.

The international community has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty.  The most vulnerable nations – the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries and the small island developing states – continue to make inroads into poverty reduction.  However, inequality persists and large disparities remain regarding access to health and education services and other assets.

There is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

Fortunately, income inequality has been reduced both between and within countries. At the current time, the per capita income of 60 out of 94 countries with data has risen more rapidly than the national average.

To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. An increase in duty-free treatment and continuation of favoring exports from developing countries could be helpful, in addition to increasing the share of developing countries’ votes within the IMF. Finally, innovations in technology can help reduce the cost of transferring money for migrant workers.

Income equality

Target 10.1 seeks to ensure that income growth among the poorest 40% of the population in every country is more rapid than its national average. This was true in 56 of 94 countries with data available from 2007 to 2012.

This was especially true in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Asia, where 88% and 67% of countries, respectively, saw gains for the poorest 40% of households. That said, faster growth for the poorest does not necessarily imply greater prosperity, since nine of the 56 countries experienced negative income growth rates over this period.

Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and other vulnerable communities.

Labour share of GDP

The labour share of GDP, which represents the proportion of wages and social protection transfers in an economy, provides an aggregate measure of primary income inequality.

The share of GDP that is attributed to labour has been trending downward over the past 15 years as processes have become more mechanized and capital assumes a growing share of GDP. While the labour share of GDP fell from almost 58% in 2000 to just over 55% in 2015 for developed regions, developing regions experienced a slight improvement to 55%. Stagnating wages across all regions contributed significantly to these results.

Over this period, the labour share of GDP only increased in Oceania and Latin America and the Caribbean, where it was at 48 and 52%, respectively in 2015. Eastern Asia saw a flat growth of labour share of GDP and continues to maintain the highest share in the world at 61.4% of GDP.

What does this mean and what does this look like?

In economic research regarding global inequality, the year 2013 brought to life a graph which became known as the “elephant graph”.

The chart uses World Bank data to show how income was distributed globally from 1988 to 2008. The paper from the researchers Christoph Lakner and Branko Milanovic included this chart that represents the global population (on the x-axis where the number 100 indicates 100% of the population) and the growth of income per percentile (on the y-axis where income growth reached a high of 80% in some cases).

This means that several groups of people experienced an important growth in their income, but also a decline in the 70 to 80 percentile and very little growth in the 80 to 90 percentile. This is basically due to the fact that the global middle class increased, in particular people in East Asia (especially China) and South Asia (especially India), and that in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa people finally escaped extreme poverty. Another reason is the increase in income among the ultrarich, who live mainly in rich countries in Europe or North America.

The data analyzed in this chart finished in the year 2008, so in the year 2018 a team of economic researches published the World Inequality Report to update this graph, taking into account the years 1980-2016. But it stopped looking like an elephant and was dubbed as the “Loch Ness monster”.

What exactly is the difference? If you compare the two graphs, you will see that in this second case the growth rate only reaches a 40% increase among most income groups, thus showing less increase for most of the global population. But the elephant trunk has now become Nessie’s neck, which means that there is an even higher concentration of economic growth in the top 1%.

There are different reasons behind this change in appearance, however, we should use this graph to remind us that the incomes of the world’s richest people have grown much more than any other population group in recent decades, and, that still, in absolute terms, the bottom half of the world’s income distribution has increased enormously.

You can revisit the posts for SDG 9 or SDG 7 where these differences can be observed in the different lifestyles in Puerto Rico and Papua New Guinea.

SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructures

Sustainable Development Goal 9 addresses three important aspects of Sustainable Development: infrastructure, industrialization and innovation. Infrastructure provides the basic physical facilities essential to business and society; industrialization drives economic growth and job creation, thereby reducing income inequality; and innovation expands the technological capabilities of industrial sectors and leads to the development of new skills.

Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving Sustainable Development and, waht is more, empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure, which links this SDG to many others.

And we should not neglect the fact that technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen.


Manufacturing is a foundation of economic development, employment and social stability However, inequalities in the value added in the manufacturing sector point to the steep challenges faced by the most disadvantaged countries, as well as their potential for growth.

For example, in 2015, manufacturing value added (MVA) per capita was less than 100 US dollars a year in the least developed countries (LDCs) compared to 4,926 US dollars in developed regions.

In terms of GDP of developed regions, the share of MVA was estimated at 13%, a decrease over the past decade owing largely to the increasing role of services in these regions. In contrast, the share of MVA in GDP remained relatively stagnant for developing regions, increasing marginally from 19% in 2005 to 21% in 2015.

Those values hide substantial differences, with MVA contributing over 31% to GDP in Eastern Asia and 10% or less in both Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. The least developed countries face particular challenges in industrializing. Although those countries represent 13% of the global population, they contribute less than 1% of global MVA.

Significant investment is needed in the LDCs to boost technological progress and economic growth, and to achieve the target of doubling industry’s share in the gross domestic product of these countries where agricultural and traditional sectors remain the main sources of employment.

Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of value added

As countries shift to less energy-intensive industries, cleaner fuels and technologies, and stronger energy efficiency policies, almost all regions have shown a reduction in the carbon intensity of their GDP.

The proportion of the world’s energy use covered by mandatory energy efficiency regulation has almost doubled over the last decade, from 14% in 2005 to 27% in 2014. More extensive deployment of clean technologies will increase the likelihood of achieving the proposed target of upgrading infrastructure and retrofitting industries to make them sustainable, with increasingly efficient use of resources and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes.

Here we have to remember, that this is the evolution of CO2 emissions coupled to GDP. But on a global scale, emissions increased from 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 1900 to over 36 billion tonnes 115 years later. And whilst data from 2014 to 2017 suggested global annual emissions of CO2 had approximately stabilized, data from the Global Carbon Project reported a further annual increase of 2.7% in 2018.

What does this mean and what does this look like?

The highest percentage of MVA in GDP can be found in Puerto Rico, where this figure has increased since 2007 when this country’s economy experienced a sharp downturn.

This sector in Puerto Rico produces mainly pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and electronics. The real estate and tourism industries are also very strong. However, the unemployment rate is around 10%.

The last one hundred years have been quite rough for Puerto Rico, especially regarding its politics and the incidence of hurricanes on the island. But again, being such a paradisic spot, we can find different stories from devastation to beauty.

After Hurricane Maria in 2017, electricity was a great challenge for several areas in Puerto Rico.

Bird’s-eye view of Puerto Rico

There are also alternative stories, such as this of Sustainable Farmers.

And, last but not least, the most famous Puerto Rican is helping to promote the island.