Fact Sheet

  • In 2008, 100 million children of primary-school age were out of school worldwide. 75 million children were out of school in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. (Progress for Children, 2010)
  • Children from poor households are less likely to attend primary school. In the richest 20% of households, 90% of children attend school. In the poorest 20%, only 64% of children attend. (Based on estimates from 43 countries with more than 100,000 children out of school in 2007 - Progress for Children, 2010)
  • Children in rural areas are also less likely to attend primary school. 86% of children from urban areas attend school, while only 72% of children from rural areas attend. (Based on estimates from 43 countries with more than 100,000 children out of school in 2007 - Progress for Children, 2010)
  • Many children do not go on to secondary school. Worldwide, 84% of children of primary-school age attend school, while only 56% of children of secondary- school age attend. (Progress for Children, 2010)
  • In Industrialized Countries, 92% of children of secondary-school age attend school, while in Developing Countries only 51% attend. (Progress for Children, 2010)
  • The United Nations Millennium Development Goals set the target of achieving universal primary education (100% attendance) by 2015.


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