Material flows and resource productivity indicators are central to monitoring the changing patterns of resource use as global economies grow. They are essential for monitoring progress towards SDG targets 8.4 ‘Resource Productivity’ and 12.2 ‘Sustainable Use of Natural Resources’.

The Global Material Flows Database provides data to help governments, policy researchers and interested stakeholders understand and trace the linkages between economic growth and raw material usage. Such information is basic for the development of effectively targeted sustainable consumption and production strategies. It also builds a strong quantitative basis upon which the success or failure of those strategies in lowering resources use can subsequently be assessed.

The database is based on authoritative, publicly accessible international data sources wherever possible, combined with the most recent methodologies for establishing material flow accounts. It covers the period 1970-2024, for more than 200 countries and regions and reports extraction and direct trade of raw materials, indirect trade flows (including material footprints), as well as intensities derived from these material measures.

Please refer to the technical annex for detailed descriptions of the data sources and methods used. 


UN Environment Programme, Secretariat of the International Resource Panel (

Data experts

CSIRO: Dr James West (

WU Vienna: Dr Stephan Lutter (

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