The SDSN has prepared this 2018 U.S. Cities SDG Index to inform on the state of sustainable development in U.S. cities and to spur on local level action. The Index covers the 100 most populous city regions (Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSA) within the U.S., which are home to 66% of the domestic population. It is a composite index comprised of 44 indicators, which cover the broad range of challenges featured in the SDG framework, excluding Goal 14 on Life Below Water and Goal 17 on Partnerships for the Goals. In this 2018 index, the San Jose- Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro region in California (CA) occupies the top-spot for the second year in a row, with an overall index score of 68.57. This means that the San Jose MSA is 68.57% of the way to fully achieving the SDGs, according to the measures used in this Index. The fact that the best performing city in the U.S. is only 68% of the way there shows the long road all U.S. cities have to travel if they are to meet the ambitious SDGs by 2030. Remarkably, 62 of the 100 MSAs are less than half way towards achieving the goals. Persistent problems for U.S. cities include access to healthcare, obesity, income inequality and violent crime—all of which are concentrated in the lowest ranking MSAs such as New Orleans-Metairie MSA in Louisiana (LA), Baton Rouge, LA, Bakersfield CA, Indianapolis-CarmelAnderson, Indiana (IN), and Jackson, Mississippi (MS). As with the 2017 report, viewing the results on a map shows a clear concentration of low ranking MSAs in the Midwestern and Southern region of the U.S. East Coast. The coastal regions of the country have consistently high-ranking MSAs.
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