Tier Classification for Global SDG Indicators

To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs into three tiers based on their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:

Tier Classification Criteria/Definitions:

Tier 1: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Tier 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

Tier 3: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested. (As of the 51st session of the United Nations Statistical Commission, the global indicator framework does not contain any Tier III indicators)

All indicators are equally important, and the establishment of the tier system is intended solely to assist in the development of global implementation strategies. For tier I and II indicators, the availability of data at the national level may not necessarily align with the global tier classification and countries can create their own tier classification for implementation.

Please note that Tier I and II indicators' metadata are available in the metadata repository.

As of 30 November 2022: The updated tier classification contains 148 Tier I indicators, 77 Tier II indicators and 6 indicators that have multiple tiers (different components of the indicator are classified into different tiers).

Below, please find the updated tier classification table as of 31 March 2023 for the Global SDG indicators as developed by the IAEG-SDGs. The document contains all past updates since 2016 as well as changes based on the decisions by the 54th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) in March 2023. The changes include refinements to four indicators approved by the UNSC. Also reflected in the document are the custodian and partner agencies for the indicators.

For any future requests to add or change an agency as a co-custodian, once all parties have reached final agreement, please send the confirmation to the Secretariat with copy to all possible custodian agencies.