Data

Share of primary-school-age children who are out of school

What you should know about this indicator

Children out of school are the percentage of primary-school-age children who are not enrolled in primary or secondary school. Children in the official primary age group that are in preprimary education should be considered out of school.

Limitations and exceptions: The administrative data used in the calculation of the rate of out-of-school children are based on enrolment at a specific date which can bias the results by either counting enrolled children who never attend school or by omitting those who enroll after the reference date for reporting enrolment data. Furthermore, children who drop out of school after the reference date are not counted as out of school. Discrepancies between enrolment and population data from different sources can also result in over- or underestimates of the rate. Lastly, the international comparability of this indicator can be affected by the use of different concepts of enrolment and out-of-school children across countries.

Statistical concept and methodology: The rate of out-of-school children allows to compare across countries with different population sizes. It shows the share of official primary-school-age children who never attended school or dropped out to the population of official primary school age.

Data on education are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from official responses to its annual education survey. All the data are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. The current version was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2011. Population data are drawn from the United Nations Population Division. Using a single source for population data standardizes definitions, estimations, and interpolation methods, ensuring a consistent methodology across countries and minimizing potential enumeration problems in national censuses. The reference years reflect the school year for which the data are presented. In some countries the school year spans two calendar years (for example, from September 2010 to June 2011); in these cases the reference year refers to the year in which the school year ended (2011 in the example).

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
1970–2022
Unit
% of primary school age

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).

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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: Share of primary-school-age children who are out of school”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-primary-school-age-out-of-school [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. “Share of primary-school-age children who are out of school” [dataset]. UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 25, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-primary-school-age-out-of-school