Data

Proportion of labor force who are women

What you should know about this indicator

Female labor force as a percentage of the total show the extent to which women are active in the labor force. Labor force comprises people ages 15 and older who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period.

Statistical concept and methodology: The standard definition of unemployed persons is those individuals without work, seeking work in a recent past period, and currently available for work, including people who have lost their jobs or voluntarily left work. In addition, persons who did not look for work but have an arrangement for a future job are also counted as unemployed. Still, some unemployment is unavoidable—at any time, some workers are temporarily unemployed between jobs as employers look for the right workers and workers search for better jobs. The labor force or the economically active portion of the population serves as the base for this indicator, not the total population.

Estimates are based on labor force participation rates and population data from International Labour Organization and United Nations Population Division. The labor force participation rates are part of the "ILO modeled estimates database," including nationally reported observations and imputed data for countries with missing data, primarily to capture regional and global trends with consistent country coverage. Country-reported microdata is based mainly on nationally representative labor force surveys, with other sources (e.g., household surveys and population censuses) considering differences in the data source, the scope of coverage, methodology, and other country-specific factors. Country analysis requires caution where limited nationally reported data are available. A series of models are also applied to impute missing observations and make projections. However, imputed observations are not based on national data, are subject to high uncertainty, and should not be used for country comparisons or rankings. For more information: https://ilostat.ilo.org/resources/concepts-and-definitions/ilo-modelled-estimates/

Notes from original source: Given the exceptional situation, including the scarcity of relevant data, the ILO modeled estimates and projections from 2020 onwards are subject to substantial uncertainty.

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1991–2022
Unit
% of total labor force

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

Read about our data pipeline

Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
  • All data, visualizations, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Proportion of labor force who are women”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from World Bank. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/proportion-of-labor-force-who-are-women [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Proportion of labor force who are women” [dataset]. World Bank, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/proportion-of-labor-force-who-are-women