Europe and North America

Learn more about Europe and North America's performance in the SDG Gender Index. 

About gender equality in Europe and North America's :

2020 Index score: 80.0

2015 Index score: 78.3

Status: ‘Some progress’ since 2015 and ‘good’ overall score

Key findings

The Europe and North America region spans 45 countries. While the region has seen only ‘some progress’ since 2015 towards gender equality (just under 2 points), 17 of the top 20 countries in the global Index are in Europe and North America.

The greatest improvement since 2015 has been on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 on innovation, with the regional average increasing by almost 7 points to 76 (‘fair’) for 2020. This has been driven by women’s greater access to the internet (Ind. 9.3) and digital banking (Ind. 9.1). The second largest gains were on SDG 5 on gender equality (from 74.5 points, ‘fair’ to 80, ‘good’), with progress driven by increased shares of women in parliament (Ind. 5.4) and ministerial roles (Ind. 5.5). Within the region, Spain, Finland, Sweden, France and Switzerland score highest on SDG 5.

Improvements have been seen in the regional scores for SDG 1 on poverty, SDG 16 on justice and SDG 17 on partnerships. And while the region achieves its highest scores on SDG 6 on water, SDG 7 on clean energy and SDG 2 on nutrition, these scores mask ‘no progress’ on all three. ‘No progress’ has also been made on SDG 4 on education, SDG 11 on sustainable cities and SDG 13 on climate.

Denmark ranks first in the Index worldwide, followed by Sweden in second place, while Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine rank lowest within the region. Armenia, Moldova and Georgia have seen the greatest improvements in their Index scores (all ‘fast progress’ of up to 7 points) and Belarus has moved in the ‘wrong direction’. The United States of America has performed similarly to Romania and Poland in its overall Index score, with all three countries slightly below the regional average.