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My phrase is: "The main (indexes / indicators) of regional development".

Which noun should I use?

I have searched for any difference in their meanings on the Internet, but didn't find anything certain.

From my point of view (and I suppose it may be totally wrong), an indicator is something what tells us about the presence or absence of something, and nothing more. If so, then as my (indexes / indicators) are all different numbers (different values, not just "present" or "absent"), should I use the word "indexes", not "indicators"?

I will be very grateful for your help.

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    Indexes have to do with measurement. indicators have to do with prediction. The value of an index may be used to predict some result. So are you measuring regional development, or are you making predictions about it? – Jim Sep 24 at 6:15
  • I am measuring the development, so now I think I will use indexes rather than indicators. Thank you for your help! – Michael Sep 24 at 14:11
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Besides "indexes" sounding maybe a little more academic than "indicators," I don't see any difference between them in your example sentence.

dictionary.com defines an index as "a pointer or indicator," so I think either is fine.

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