Social Indicators Research

, Volume 147, Issue 2, pp 383–419 | Cite as

Sustainable Development Goals Indicators at Territorial Level: Conceptual and Methodological Issues—The Italian Perspective

  • Leonardo S. AlaimoEmail author
  • Filomena Maggino
Original Research


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015) can be considered the synthesis of a debate, which sets the sustainable development as a priority for the International Community. The achievement of the sustainable development goals has made necessary to develop a system of indicators. Indicators and data should be collected and reported sub-nationally, giving attention to the territory. This is a necessity even more for Italy, a country historically characterized by strong regional specificities and differences, which find their radicalization in the so-called North–South gap. In this paper, we want to examine and monitor the Italian situation as to the achievement of the SDGs, based on the analysis of the Regions, to highlight potential differences or territorial homogeneity. In particular, we want to emphasize not only how there is actually a gap between the North and the South of the country, but also how the synthesis tends often to be representative of situations profoundly different from each other, as a result of different values in the basic indicators, or similar situations between them. Due to the difficulty of reporting on a paper a detailed analysis of all 17 sustainable development goals, we focus only on the first three goals one. In particular, for each goal we select indicators all useful for the analysis of regional realities and appropriate some for monitoring the present condition, others for providing information on the future one (risk). The research methodology is to use the Adjusted Mazziotta–Pareto Index for creating a composite index for each goal considered. This analysis is preceded by an exploratory analysis of the basic indicators over time through the use of within and between correlations and the average PCA.


Sustainable development Italian regions Composite indicators Repeated measures correlation analysis AMPI Aggregation-through-compensation fallacy 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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