Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Development cooperation - Supporting sustainable development

Indicator 17.1: Expenditure for official development assistance as a proportion of gross national income

Visit the indicator 17.1 of the dialogue version of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

(Evaluation of the year 2017 as reporting year from indicator report 2018)


Select here what should be displayed in the chart and in the table.

This table includes additional information to the above visualized indicators, i.e. a short definition of this indicator and a description of the politically determined target values as well as explaining the political intention behind selecting this indicator.

Definition (Text from the Indicator Report 2018)

The indicator shows public net expenditures for development assistance (Official Development Assistance or ODA) as a percentage of gross national income (GNI).

Target and intention (Text from the Indicator Report 2018)

Through their development assistance, industrialised nations contribute to reducing poverty worldwide, securing peace, alleviating humanitarian crises, achieving democracy, shaping globalisation equitably and protecting the environment. In order to live up to this responsibility, the Federal Government aims to achieve the target originally set for 2015 to increase public development expenditure as a proportion of gross national income to 0.7 % by 2030.

Last modification of code (data) 2020-09-09: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2020-08-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Text from the Indicator Report 2018

The data basis for the indicator is the statistics on the flows of German development assistance, which is compiled by the Federal Statistical Office on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The eligibility of a flow as ODA is defined by the relevant guidelines issued by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA mainly includes expenditure for financial and technical cooperation with developing and emerging countries, humanitarian aid as well as contributions for development assistance to multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union (EU), the World Bank or regional development banks. Furthermore, expenditure for specific peace missions, debt cancellation as well as costs of specific development assistance provided in the donor country, such as the tuition costs of university students from developing and emerging countries or expenditure for development-related research, can also be counted as ODA. In 2015, the calculation basis of the German ODA was adjusted to take greater account of the costs of housing, care and education of refugees within the donor country.

An expert group of the DAC has submitted proposals for harmonising and improving the comparability of the methods used to determine ODA eligible expenditure for refugees within the country. These proposals can be implemented by Member States as of reference year 2017 and have to be implemented as of reference year 2019 at the latest. The OECD, or the DAC, also define the list of ODA eligible developing and emerging countries. This includes the least developed countries (LDCs) on the one hand and other countries with low and medium GNI per capita on the other. Members of the G7 and Russia, the EU as well as EU accession candidates with a fixed accession date are excluded. The list is updated every three years. Changes in the indicator can also result from the fact that individual or several countries are added to or removed from the list.

In 2017, official development expenditure as a percentage of German GNI was 0.66 % according to provisional figures. Net ODA flows in 2017 were around 21.9 billion euros (provisional value), which was a decrease of 2.1 % year on year (22.4 billion euros). It should be noted that Germany saw a large influx of immigrants from conflict regions in 2015 and 2016. Benefits for the provision of basic services in Germany to asylum seekers from developing countries can be reported as ODA. This is one of the main reasons for the sharp increase of the figures recorded for 2015 and 2016 compared to 2014. In 2017, a slight reduction can be observed with decreasing immigration. Excluding the costs of refugees, the ODA quota remained almost constant from 2016 to 2017.

In an international comparison, Germany was the second largest donor of ODA funds in absolute terms in 2017 (provisional results) after the USA and ahead of the UK. With reference to GNI, the rate of 0.66 % achieved by Germany in 2017 is above the average value of the EU members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (0.59 %). In relative terms, Germany ranks 6th out of the 29 DAC member countries. The international goal of 0.7 % was achieved in 2017 by Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and the UK.

In addition to official development assistance, private organisations such as churches, foundations and associations also make contributions. This private development assistance, which does not qualify as ODA, amounted to 1.3 billion euros in 2017, equating to a share of 0.04 % of gross national income. Private direct investment in developing and emerging countries totalled 10.9 billion euros in 2017 (before revision).

The synoptic table provides information about the evaluation of the indicator for Germany in previous years. It shows if the weather symbol assigned to an indicator was rather stable or volatile in the past years. (Evaluation of the indicator report 2018)


17.1 - Expenditure for official development assistance as a proportion of gross national income


Increase the proportion to 0.7 % of GNI by 2030






Evaluation - - - -

Source 1

Logo Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)


Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)

Link to
data source
German Official Development Assistance opens in a new window

Source 2

Logo Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Source 3



Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)