One in Five Children, Adolescents and Youth is Out of School (2018)

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Social-Emotional Learning & Equity

Author: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

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In 2016, 263 million children, adolescents and youth were out of school, representing nearly one-fifth of the global population of this age group (see Figure 1 and Table 1). The number of children, adolescents and youth who are excluded from education fell steadily in the decade following 2000, but UIS data show that this progress essentially stopped in recent years; the total number of out-of-school children and youth has declined by little more than 1 million per year since 2012. Some 63 million, or 24% of the total, are children of primary school age (about 6 to 11 years old); 61 million, or 23% of the total, are adolescents of lower secondary school age (about 12 to 14 years old); and 139 million, or 53% of the total, are youth of upper secondary school age (about 15 to 17 years old).


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