SDSN USA launches 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report

New York, 8 July 2019 – Today, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s United States Network (SDSN USA) launched the 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report, SDSN’s third city-level report ranking 105 US cities on progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (SDGs). The results show that there will be significant work to do across the board if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030, as cities on average scored only 48.9%. In the 2019 Index, top-ranking San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California Metro Statistical Area (MSA) has an overall score of 69.7, meaning it is 69.7% of the way toward fully achieving the SDGs, according to the measures used in this index.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a comprehensive framework to achieve economic prosperity, flourishing people, and a healthy planet, developed through broad consultation led by the United Nations and adopted by 193 countries, including the United States, in September 2015.

Using 57 indicators collected across 15 of the 17 Goals, this report considers city performance across a wide-variety of sustainability topics, from incarceration to clean water, and from early education to sustainable transit. Of the nearly 6000 indicator scores, only 14% are “green,” or demonstrate “good performance”, underlying just how much work will be required to achieve the Goals.

This report provides an entry point into using the SDGs as a tool for interdisciplinary problem solving at the local level, and provides opportunities for comparison to other contexts, such as the State, Global, and European Cities indices. This database of indicators highlights sustainable development opportunities and successes in the U.S. at the city level, it provides a snapshot of where the 100+ largest U.S. cities stand on SDG achievement, and helps identify priorities for early action in each metropolitan area. Additionally, the report includes a list of data gaps that are hindering cities’ and the federal government’s ability to effectively plan and achieve sustainable progress. Finally, it provides a pathway to considering equity and access across the goals using available data to consider the Leave No One Behind Agenda.

To view the full report and data for the “2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report”– including rankings of the 105 MSAs included in the analysis and a feature on San Juan, Puerto Rico, visit


The SDSN USA is a network of researchers, knowledge creators and thought leaders connected together to mobilize expertise on the SDGs in the United States. Officially launched on December 4, 2018, the SDSN USA has over 120 members from 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC. It joins the existing Sustainable Development Solutions Network which spans six continents and draws upon the knowledge and educational capacity of over 1,000-member institutions.