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The Research team is based on cross-disciplinary expertise. Various major global databases were the original sources of information for establishing the WDSI. At this stage, 74 countries and economies with representative status (in terms of region, development level, etc.), relatively complete data, and a population of one million or more have been selected to establish indices for individual countries or economies. The investigation was furtherly extended to 97 states in 2020.

The overall rate of missing data was 3.33%. All raw data was in principle converted to a range of 1 to 11 points (with 10 equidistant intervals). A higher score indicates that the indexed performance comparatively conforms to sustainability. Where data values were missing, half of the median value (3 points) was substituted into the calculation, then the scores of the individual indices were averaged across all 64 indices and then ranked. Since all missing values were given 3 points, if countries/ economies from their own self-ranking consider 3points to be too low, we hope they can provide credible data to compensate for the shortcomings of the international database; the WDSI will make adjustment as it needs.

In the future, after procedures to expand data verification, reference critical feedback and correct and revise, we will continue to increase the number of participating evaluations, and hope eventually to expand it to all countries/economies around the world.