57 million children now out of school: what does it mean?


June 13, 2013
Allison Grossman, Senior Legislative Associate

Earlier this week, the Education for All Global Monitoring Report and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics quietly released a paper that should have received significantly more attention than it did. They reported that, as of 2011, there are now 57 million primary school aged children around the world who are not receiving an education.

So what does that mean? Once you unpack that number, several important pieces emerge. The first is that the world didn’t actually make as much progress from 2010 to 2011 as one might think upon first glance. At the same time as the release of this new figure, UNESCO also revised their statistics for 2010. While we had been using the figure of 61 million children out of school in 2010, that number was revised down to 59 million due to new national-level data made available this year.