Key message
Neutral

The Slovenian economy is gradually approaching the average level of development of the European Union. In 2022, the gross domestic product per capita in terms of purchasing power parity reached 92% of the EU-27 average, which is the highest so far. The support of the expansionary fiscal policy for the economy and the measures to assist the population during the epidemic and the high energy prices have greatly mitigated the impact of both crises. According to the prevailing development model worldwide, higher development (for example, measured by the Human Development Index) is accompanied by a higher ecological footprint. Achieving higher well-being level through excessive use of natural resources and ecosystem services is also characteristic of Slovenia.


The indicator shows the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in terms of purchasing power, as well as a comparison with the ecological footprint and biocapacity in Slovenia and the EU-27 countries.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the sum of the values of all final goods and services produced in a specific economy within one year. GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power is the most common indicator of a country's level of development. It is expressed in calculated values - purchasing power standards (PPS). Purchasing power standard (PPS) is an artificial unit that, at the average level of EU countries, is equal to one euro. PPS or "EU-27 euro" reflects differences in levels of national prices that are not reflected in exchange rate movements, thus enabling comparisons of development between countries.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an economic measure that quantifies the value of all goods and services produced in a country during a specific period. It represents the economic performance of a country. In contrast, the ecological footprint assesses the human impact on the environment. It measures the amount of natural resources and land area that an individual, community, or country requires to meet its needs. Biocapacity refers to the ability of ecosystems to provide natural resources and absorb the waste generated by human activities. It represents the limitations of our planet. If a country's ecological footprint exceeds its biocapacity, it means that the country is exceeding sustainable limits and relying on the import of natural resources and/or the export of waste. To achieve sustainable development, it is important to reduce the ecological footprint, preserve biocapacity, and steer economic activities towards more sustainable practices.


Charts

Figure SE01-1: GDP per person, Ecological footprint per person, biocapacity per person in Slovenia, 1992-2022
Sources:

Global footprint network, 2023

Note:

GDP per capita is presented in 1000 €, while the unit for biocapacity and ecological footptint is global hectar per inhabitant

Show data
GDP per person[1000]
1992 13.40
1993 13.80
1994 14.60
1995 13.30
1996 13.70
1997 14.40
1998 14.90
1999 15.70
2000 16.30
2001 16.80
2002 17.40
2003 17.90
2004 18.60
2005 19.30
2006 20.30
2007 21.70
2008 22.30
2009 20.50
2010 20.70
2011 20.80
2012 20.20
2013 19.90
2014 20.40
2015 20.80
2016 21.50
2017 22.50
2018 23.40
2019 23.20
2020 22.40
2021 24.80
2022 28
Figure SE01-2: GDP per capita in PPS (purchasing power parities) in EU-27, 2022
Sources:

Eurostat, 2023

Show data
2000[index (EU27=100)] 2021[index (EU27=100)] 2022[index (EU27=100)]
Luxembourg 244 268 261
Ireland 131 219 234
Denmark 132 133 136
Netherlands 134 130 130
Austria 131 123 125
Belgium 126 120 121
Sweden 127 123 119
Germany 118 120 117
Finland 117 112 109
Malta 84 100 102
France 115 104 101
EU27 100 100 100
Italy 117 95 96
Cyprus 89 91 92
Slovenia 80 90 92
Czechia 68 92 91
Lithuania 39 89 90
Estonia 45 89 87
Spain 97 83 85
Poland 48 77 79
Hungary 55 75 77
Portugal 78 75 77
Romania 26 74 77
Latvia 37 72 74
Croatia 70 73
Greece 84 64 68
Slovakia 50 69 67
Bulgaria 28 57 59

Goals

  • increase economic stability
  • increase the value of GDP per capita (in PPS) to 100 by 2030
  • reduce the ecological footprint to 3.8 gha/person by 2030
  • raise the value of the GDP per capita index in purchasing power to 95 by 2030
  • promote a low-carbon circular economy
  • sustainably manage natural resources.

According to the prevailing development model in the world, higher development (measured, for example, by the Human Development Index) is accompanied by a higher ecological footprint. Development is therefore happening without considering the environmental capacity of the planet. Achieving prosperity through excessive use of resources and ecosystem services is also characteristic of Slovenia (ARSO, 2022).

Since monitoring GDP does not fully capture the sustainable aspect of development by considering the environmental dimension of development, an indicator compares GDP with the ecological footprint. The ecological footprint tracks the use of natural resources and biological capacity, which indicates the regenerative capacity of natural resources. This helps us determine whether our environmental interventions are sustainable and whether our actions are within the planet's capacity.

Per capita biocapacity in Slovenia has not significantly changed since 1992. This means that the ability to produce and replenish ecosystems remains relatively unchanged. However, the ecological footprint per capita has increased significantly, primarily due to the rise in GDP per capita, which also determines an unsustainable standard of living for the population. Both the ecological footprint and GDP show growth in the period from 1992 to 2008, but then the global economic crisis occurred, leading to a decrease in both the ecological footprint and GDP. In recent years, an increase in GDP per capita and consequently the ecological footprint per capita can be observed again.

GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power is gradually increasing in Slovenia. Between 2011 and 2016, there was a stagnation caused by the economic recovery after the global economic crisis. After that period, values started to gradually increase. In 2022, GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power reached 92% of the EU average, which is the highest so far. With the help of supportive and expansionary fiscal policies after the epidemic, the Slovenian economy quickly recovered. Measures to support the population during the epidemic and energy price increases greatly mitigated the impact of both crises on the social and material well-being of the population. State and private investments have also had a positive impact on economic growth. In the second half of 2022, economic growth slowed down due to the effects of the energy crisis and increased uncertainty in the international environment. Slovenia's development gap in GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power represents below-average economic productivity. Slow progress in productivity is a result of low levels of investment. For Slovenia, the transition to a smart and green economy is too slow (UMAR, 2023).

In 2022, Luxembourg had the highest GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power among the EU-27 countries (261). It was followed by Ireland with an index value of 234. Slovenia is slightly below the EU-27 average, specifically with a value of 92. The lowest index values were recorded by Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Greece.

Continuing the current GDP growth trajectory and the model of economic development at the expense of further exceeding the planet's carrying capacity could jeopardize the existence of future generations, accelerate climate change, and contribute to the extinction of animal and plant species. Slovenia's strategic development documents stem from the key development assumption that Slovenia's main development gap compared to the EU average still lies in the area of economic development, while environmental deficiencies are smaller and limited to specific segments. Emphasis is placed on socio-economic conditions such as material well-being, increasing GDP, greater economic growth, and increasing added value and employment. In the future, it will be necessary to supplement strategic documents with an environmental component that dictates economic growth adjusted to environmental capacity and sustainable development, placing environmental capital ahead of creative capital (Plut, 2008).


Methodology

Date of data source summarization
Other sources and literature

- Plut, 2008. Globalno razmišljanje – lokalno delovanje: okoljska globalizacija, svetovno gospodarstvo in Slovenija. Ljubljana, Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za geografijo.
- SRS, 2017. Strategija Razvoja Slovenije. Ljubljana: Urad RS za makroanalize in razvoj.
- Poročilo o razvoju 2023, 2023. Ljubljana: Urad RS za makroanalize in razvoj.

- ARSO, 2022. Poročilo o okolju v Republiki Sloveniji 2022. Ljubljana: Agencija RS za okolje.


Related indicators