Kazakhstan improved its position


On June 14, 2021 members of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network announced the results of the 6th edition of the Sustainable Development Report 2021, under the auspices of the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development Goals. The Report presents the achievement of the SDGs by 165 countries of the world.

The Sustainable Development Report 2021 contains country indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals and the latest available data, using both official data sources (UN, World Bank, etc.) and non-official sources (research institutes and non-governmental organizations). The report also presents quantitative thresholds for the SDGs achievement derived from scientific data for the SDGs.

According to the survey data, Kazakhstan ranked 59 with 71.6 points, improving its position by 6 points (in 2020 - 65th).  Top 10 leaders include Finland (1st place, 85.9 points), Sweden (2nd place, 85.6 points), Denmark (3rd place, 84.9 points), Germany (4th place, 85.5 points), Belgium (5th place, 82.2 points), Austria (6th place, 82.1 points), Norway (7th place, 82.0 points), France (8th place, 81.7 points), Slovenia (9th place, 81.6 points), and Estonia (10th place, 81.6 points). 

Experts note that this year Report is dedicated to identifying fiscal and financial space that will facilitate investment in the Sustainable Development Goals. Due to the reporting time lags, the impact of COVID-19 on the Sustainable Development Goals is not fully reflected in this year SDGs Index. For most countries, only about 11% of the indicators contain data for 2020. For Kazakhstan, out of the 91 indicators used by the SDGs Index, 12 indicators (13%) were applied according to the data of 2020-2021.

Summary of the main conclusions of the Report:

1.    For the first time since the SDGs adoption in 2015, in 2020, the total SDGs index declined.

2.    Developing countries need more fiscal space to finance emergency measures and recovery through investment.

3.    Finland led the SDGs Index 2021 with 85.9 points. However, in other OECD countries, the challenges of achieving the SDGs still remain.

4.    Gaps between commitments and actions to achieve major changes in the SDGs by 2030 and beyond must be addressed.

5.    The Decade of Action for Sustainable Development Goals requires a stable multilateral system. Negative international flows, such as unsustainable trade or shifting profits, undermine countries' ability to achieve the SDGs.


According to the Report in Kazakhstan one of the 17 goals has been achieved – goal 1 Poverty eradication”. For two goals (goal 3 “Good Health and Well-Being”, and Goal 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”) the support for SDGs is noted. For five goals (goal 7, “Affordable and Clean Energy”, goal 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, goal 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements”, and goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”) the moderate improvement is noted. For six goals (goal 2 “Poverty eradication”, goal 5 “Gender Equality”, goal 13 “Climate Action”, goal 15 “Life on Land”, and goal 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”) there is stagnation.

Despite the overall positive trend of Kazakhstan in the SDGs Index 2021, there are indicators with negative shifts. These indicators mainly relate to goal 5 “Gender Equality” and goal 15 “Life on Land” (Table 1).


Table 1. Indicators where Kazakhstan’s position has worsened 

Name of Indicator

Value in Index 2021 

Value in Index 2020

Goal 3. Good Health and Well-Being

Under-Five Mortality Rate (per 1,000 live births)

10.5 (2019)

9.9 (2018)

Goal 5. Gender Equality

The demand for family planning is met by modern methods (% of women aged 15-49 married or in relationship)

73.2 (2018)

79.4 (2018)

Ratio of average years of education between women and men (%)

91.6 (2019)

101.7 (2018)

Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Unemployment rate (% of the total labor force)

6.1 (2020)

4.6 (2019)

Goal 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Electronic waste (kg per capita)

9.2 (2019)

8.2 (2016)

Goal 13. Climate Action

CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production (tCO2/per capita)

16.9 (2019)

14.9 (2017)

Goal 15. Life on Land

Average area of protected land areas important for biodiversity (%)

11.1 (2019)

15.7 (2018)

Average area of protected freshwater areas important for biodiversity (%)

10.1 (2019)

17.0 (2018)

Goal 16. Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions

Press Freedom Index (best 0 - 100 worst)

54.1 (2020)

52.8 (2019)

Goal 17. Partnership for Sustainable Development

Government spending on health and education (% of GDP)

4.4 (2018)

5.1 (2016)

Note: the years taken as the basis of the calculation are shown in brackets

Source: Sustainable Development Report 2021


At the same time, the improvement of Kazakhstan's position in the SDGs Index 2021 was mainly due to the improvement of goal 3 “Good Health and Well-Being” and goal 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”. The positive trend is associated with an improvement in life expectancy and Internet accessibility (Table 2).


Table 2. Indicators where Kazakhstan’s position has improved

Name of Indicator

Value in Index 2021 

Value in Index 2020

Goal 3. Good Health and Well-Being

Neonatal mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)

4.7 (2019)

5.6 (2018)

Traffic accident deaths (per 100,000 population)

12.7 (2019)

17.6 (2016)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

74.0 (2019)

71.1 (2016)

Adolescent fertility rate (births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19)

29.4 (2018)

29.8 (2017)

Goal 4. Quality Education

Net primary school enrolment ratio (%)

90.4 (2020)

86.9 (2019)

Percentage of incomplete secondary school graduates (%)

117.9 (2019)

113.6 (2018)

Goal 7. Affordable and Clean Energy

CO2 emissions from the combustion of fuel for electricity and heating for total electricity generation (MtCO2/TWh)

2.1 (2018)

2.6 (2017)

Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Import-related fatal industrial accidents (per 100,000 population)

0.2 (2015)

0.3 (2010)

Goal 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Population using the Internet (%)

81.9 (2019)

78.9 (2018)

Mobile broadband subscribers (per 100 people of the population)

90.3 (2019)

77.6 (2018)

The Times Higher Education Universities Ranking: average score of the Top 3 universities (worst 0 - 100 best)

17.7 (2021)

16.4 (2020)

Goal 11. Sustainable cities and settlements

The average annual concentration of solid particles is less than

2.5 microns in diameter (PM2. 5) (µg / m3)

13.6 (2019)

13.8 (2017)

Goal 16. Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions

Corruption Perceptions Index (worst 0 - 100 best)

38 (2020)

34 (2019)

Note: the years taken as the basis of the calculation are shown in brackets

Source: Sustainable Development Report 2021


In general, despite the existing goals that still require commitment, Kazakhstan's position in the SDGs Index 2021 has improved.

For more details, please, refer to the Index

Read more: 17 Sustainable Development Goals

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Saved: 07.12.2022

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