Constructing a criteria-based classification for Small Island Developing States: an investigation


UNCTAD Research Paper No. 66
  • What makes an island a Small Island Developing State (SIDS)?

  • What are the unique features or characteristics that single out some islands from the thousands of others?

Depending on the criteria (or lack of) being used, there are several SIDS classifications being used by UN or international organizations.

While there is no universally agreed definition for SIDS, there is a broad consensus that SIDS are typically characterized as remote, with high vulnerability to economic and environmental shocks, and with an inability to capitalize on economies of scale.

This paper investigates what make a SIDS a SIDS and whether a criteria-based classification is possible and what it might look like.

11 May 2021