Official statistics on quality of life and sustainable development


In 2009, the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress submitted a report recommending indicators to be used in order to establish the clearest picture of social progress. The Commission`s mandate was to examine existing goals for economic development and their relevance to the well-being of society, as well as economic, environmental and social sustainability. The Nobel Prize winner of economics, Joseph Stiglitz, headed the Commission, which was also made up of a number of distinguished economists and social scientists

The report and its recommendations, which were referred to in the National Budget 2010, has generated a great deal of interest. The input is aimed at the national accounts, among other things, and includes suggestions for greater focus on income, consumption and distribution ahead of production. The Commission further recommends that statistics from several areas in composite indices describing quality of life are weighted together. The report has laid the foundation for an international debate in statistics environments. A working group (also referred to as a sponsorship group) is being set up in the EU/EEA cooperation in order to follow-up the report.

Many of Statistics Norway`s statistics cover the relevant areas, e.g. data in the national accounts, indicators for sustainable development, environmental statistics and social welfare statistics. Statistics Norway will be following the problems discussed by the Stiglitz Commission in conjunction with devising a working plan over the next few years.