The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has just updated its global database with more recent country-level data to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4).

UIS global education database

While the global numbers and regional averages on key indicators such as out-of-school rates have not changed since the previous release in September 2019, we have added new country-level data to provide a more complete and timely picture of the education situation facing children, youth and adults around the world.

The SDG global and thematic indicators have been updated with more timely and country-level data, particularly indicators 4.1.1 on learning outcomes, 4.1.2 on learning assessment, 4.3.1 on formal and non-formal education and 4.6.1 on functional literacy. The release also includes new data on: 

  • early childhood to post-secondary non-tertiary education for 25 countries
  • tertiary education for 20 countries
  • educational expenditure for 36 countries
  • economic information and related education indicators for all countries.

Improving the coverage and quality of SDG 4 data

Countries are currently reporting slightly less than half (49%) of the data needed to produce the SDG 4 global monitoring indicators. In response, the UIS has launched several initiatives to resolve the measurement challenges. The Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML), for example, is developing the methodologies and standards to produce the indicators related to learning, as well as a series of tools that link the results of national, regional and international assessments. These tools will help countries make the best possible use of existing data for reporting purposes and, in turn, increase the global coverage and comparability of indicator 4.1.1.

In addition to its work on methodologies, the UIS is mobilizing greater support for countries so that they can improve their data coverage. At the international level, the Global Coalition for Education Data is now bringing together countries, donors and technical partners to help fill critical gaps in data.

At the regional level, the UIS is spearheading new working groups within the Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4 (TCG).  These groups will bring together country representatives and technical experts to identify ways to make the best possible use of all available data sources at the regional level. This will help countries fill critical gaps in the data needed for education monitoring and policymaking.  

Get the SDG 4 data you need in the format you want

To meet the different needs of our data users, we offer several ways to access our data.

  • Our new SDG 4  dashboard (shown below) provides direct links to the latest data by target. It also highlights key trends and the latest methodological developments and challenges associated with the global and thematic indicators.
  • Direct downloads of SDG 4 indicators in excel tables presented in an easy-to-manage format.
  • UIS global education database presented in our Data Centre, in our API and in a newly-developed Bulk Data Download Services platform.