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Analysis of the Sustainable Society Index Worldwide: A Study from the Biplot Perspective


  • Isabel Gallego-Álvarez


  • Mª Galindo-Villardón


  • Miguel Rodríguez-Rosa



Since the Brundtland Report defined the concept of sustainability in 1987, several different indices and indicators have been developed in this area, which is becoming an ever greater concern in society, since it will affect future generations. The main objective of this research study is to analyze whether there are differences in the scores obtained by a broad sample of countries in the Sustainable Society Index according to the geographical area in which the country is located. We apply the HJ-biplot method (Galindo in Questíio 10(1):13–23, 1986 ), a statistical technique that provides a joint graphical representation in a low dimensional Euclidean space (usually a plane), of a multivariate data matrix; in our study, this is formed by the countries grouped by geographical areas and variables relating to sets of economic, social and environmental indicators included in the Sustainable Society Index. Our findings stress that the variables related to Human Wellbeing fall mainly within the proximity of the countries located in the geographical areas of Europe, America and, to a lesser extent, Asia. In contrast, other variables associated with Environmental Wellbeing, such as greenhouse gases, renewable energy, and air quality are mainly located closer to Africa, and more residually to Asia. In order to represent the most relevant variables in each geographical area and corroborate the results obtained using the HJ-biplot methodology, an analysis was carried out of the radial graph that represents the values of each variable along the independent axes in the form of radii that have their starting point in the centre of the plot and end in the outer ring such that each radius corresponds to a variable. The results obtained show the characteristics of each geographical area in relation to the Sustainable Society Index, and confirm the results obtained with the HJ-biplot. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Gallego-Álvarez & Mª Galindo-Villardón & Miguel Rodríguez-Rosa, 2015. "Analysis of the Sustainable Society Index Worldwide: A Study from the Biplot Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 29-65, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:120:y:2015:i:1:p:29-65
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-014-0579-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

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