Resilience rankings and trajectories of world's countries

Natanael Bolson, Maxim Yutkin, William Rees, Tadeusz Patzek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Using an eight-dimensional indicator index, we evaluate the trajectories of resilience of 160 countries over 20 years. Our highly-granular analysis of the current state of the world shows what must happen to control climate change and switch from quantitative to qualitative growth. Assessing the resilience of a country is a complex task prone to opacity and subjectivity. The challenge is to strike a balance between the Earth's biophysical limits and socioeconomic models designed to ignore them. Here we propose a resilience index composed of eight indicators of socioeconomic status (GDP and HDI), natural resources and population (arable land and water resources per capita), energy (supply and renewables), and environmental impacts (greenhouse gas emissions and material footprint). We show that the socioeconomic indicators have improved, while natural resources have been depleting and environmental impacts worsening. We need to reduce the current material footprint 1.5-fold. Average CO2 emissions per capita must drop by an order of magnitude. Furthermore, population growth and political instability seem to undermine resilience score of a country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107383
JournalEcological Economics
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Indicators
  • Negative externalities
  • Resilience score
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Transition to economic sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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