An alternative multi-dimensional regional economic development index: A provincial application in South Africa

Daniel Francois Meyer, Jacques de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of regional economic development has come to the fore in recent years in driving global development, leading to improving the general standard of living. However, quantifying economic development progress is a difficult process as the measurement thereof is complex and a multi-dimensional concept. Previous attempts to measure economic development have made use of single and limited composite indices, such as the Human Development Index (HDI). These indices are limited in extent, failing to capture important aspects of development and therefore a gap for the formulation of a comprehensive regional economic development index exists. The primary objective of this study was therefore to construct a multi-dimensional, composite, regional development index that measures most dimensions of economic development. The research design methodology included a comprehensive literature review and the use of secondary data obtained from Global Insight. The index as constructed included 18 quantifiable socio-economic variables, consisting of four sub-dimensions and weights were assigned to all individual indicators. The index was applied to all nine provinces in South Africa. The findings indicate that regions are at different stages of development and development occurs at a different pace across regions. The results provide economic development practitioners with detailed insight of the socio-economic strengths and weaknesses of the provinces in South Africa and where interventions are required. The implications of this alternative index are that it could be utilised as a tool for the analysis and measurement of global regional efforts, as well as to compare different economic regions vis-a-vis their level of economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-113
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of eBusiness and eGovernment Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic development
  • Index
  • Regions development
  • South africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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