Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Maryland Genuine Progress Indicator

Maryland has updated its Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) to include 2009 data. According to the new data, Maryland’s social and environmental progress increased, but were offset by declines in some economic indicators, resulting in a slight decrease in the overall GPI.

For 2009, Maryland’s Gross State Product (GSP) was more than $286 billion, a 3.84 percent increase from 2008. Maryland’s Genuine Progress, however, actually decreased about 1.2 percent to $146.6 billion. Despite the overall decrease, both environmental and societal values actually improved by 2.7 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively. The last time GSP increased while GPI decreased was 1979.

The Maryland Genuine Progress Indicator was implemented in February 2010. This innovative online tool allows policymakers and citizens to more accurately measure the State’s standard of living by including indicators of social and environmental health along with traditional economic calculations. Developed by experts from several State agencies, the Governor’s Office, and the University of Maryland, the GPI is designed to complement traditional economic measurements such as the Gross State Product.

The GPI incorporates 26 factors in three categories — economic, social, and natural — from the costs of crime to the costs of ozone depletion. Costs and values used in calculating the GPI are based on academically reviewed studies. These numbers are not presented as the ultimate value to society, but rather as a standard against which to measure year to year changes.

According to the state, the GPI is an educational tool designed to allow the public and policymakers to better balance the costs and benefits of decisions on how to use the resources available to them.

source: MD DNR

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