The State of the Sustainable Development Goals in the United States

The Sustainable Development Goals offer a set of metrics and evidence to better understand where the world is on a set of critical economic, social, and environmental dimensions.

The 17 SDGs and their 169 targets include explicit aims to strengthen democratic accountability and rule of law; address corruption, violence, and inequities across gender and marginalized groups; and promote opportunity and inclusive economic growth while addressing climate change and environmental sustainability.

This policy brief showcases opportunities to advance U.S. priorities at home and abroad by embracing the SDGs and providing political leadership, stronger partnerships, and institutional arrangements to accelerate progress. It presents findings from a quantitative assessment of U.S. progress made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic on select SDG indicators, offering a coherent empirical basis for defining an economic recovery that leaves the country better off, with benchmarks for identifying where policy efforts may need adjustment. It outlines opportunities for the U.S. government to maximize its international impact and reinforce its leadership on the global stage, as well as advance U.S. domestic priorities through wider collaboration.

Publication date

January 1, 2022

Sponsor Institution

UN Foundation, Brookings Institution


Tony Pipa; Krista Rasmussen; Kait Pendrak; Kaysie Brown
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