October 19, 2021

Reference: New Report & Data From UNESCO: One in Every Five Children, Adolescents and Youth is Out of School Worldwide

From the UNESCO Institute of Statistics:

New figures on the number of children out of school worldwide reveal that, despite decades of efforts to get every child into the classroom, progress has come to a standstill. According to data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), about 263 million children, adolescents and youth worldwide (or one in every five) are out school – a figure that has barely changed over the past five years.

The rate of progress, or the lack of it, varies by age group, according to a new UIS paper. At the primary level, the out-of-school rate has barely moved at all over the past decade, with 9% of children of primary school age (about 6 to 11 years), or 63 million, out of school. In addition, 61 million adolescents of lower secondary school age (about 12 to 14 years) and 139 million youth of upper secondary school age – or one in every three – are not enrolled in school. These youth, between the ages of about 15 to 17 years, are four times as likely to be out of school as children of primary school age, and more than twice as likely to be out of school as those of lower secondary school age (see our video).


Source: One in Five Children, Adolescents and Youth is Out of School (UNESCO/UIS Fact Sheet 48)

The UIS figures confirm that across sub-Saharan Africa one in every three children, adolescents and youth are out of school – with girls more likely to be excluded than boys. For every 100 boys of primary school age out of school, there are 123 girls denied the right to education.

The new data also highlight a gulf between out-of-school rates in the world’s poorest and richest countries, with an upper-secondary out-of-school rate of 59% across the world’s low-income countries, compared to just 6% in high-income countries.

Read the Complete Data Release Announcement

Direct to Full Text Fact Sheet: One in Five Children, Adolescents and Youth is Out of School
13 pages; PDF.

Data Resources

  • UIS Data Centre: explore and download the latest available data on education. Users can browse through the complete set of indicators or more segmented views of SDG 4 indicators.
  • API (application program interface): advanced data users can now download about 6000 indicators and variables from 1970 and onwards.
  • SDG 4 data microsite: explore the indicators, metadata and country profiles on the global and thematic indicators.
  • eAtlas for Education 2030: interactive maps make it easy to explore the global and thematic indicators and see the trends at the global, regional and country levels.
About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.