International statistics Millions of children still suffer from learning poverty

The World Bank recently reported on the current state of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDG). Besides gender equality, climate action, and fighting poverty, one of the goals is providing quality education. In this respect, there has been a great improvement in the last 50 years, especially in low and middle-income countries. The number of children receiving primary education almost reached 90% in 2018.

However, a high number of children still suffer from learning poverty – in other words, by the age when primary school ends they have not attended school at all or have not acquired sufficient reading proficiency despite attending school. This number exceeds 50 % in four global regions if only low and middle-income countries are considered (e.g., in Europe these include Bulgaria or the Ukraine among others).

The situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly dramatic. In these countries, nine out of ten children, more than 100 million, had not received a minimum level of education by the end of primary school age. Although this proportion is lower in South Asia, they also account for 100 million children without basic education.

These data and other illustrative graphics on all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals can be found in the new Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020.