Mission: To highlight levels of education inequality across countries and between groups within countries.
Background: An initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE) sheds light on the way factors over which people have little control — ethnicity, gender, location, wealth — play an important role in shaping their educational and life opportunities. Initially created as a dataset for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report — an annual report published by UNESCO to monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals' education targets — WIDE brings together data from demographic and health surveys, multiple indicator cluster surveys, national household surveys, and learning achievement surveys from more than a hundred and sixty countries. Among other things, WIDE tracks indicators of access and completion — including primary and secondary school completion rates, percentage of out-of-school children and youth, higher education attendance and completion rates, and mean years of total education — as well as indicators of learning, including youth literacy rates and achievement rates in reading, mathematics, and science.
Outstanding Web Features: The World Inequality Database on Education site provides education outcomes data by country or indicator, which users can download, print, or share online and use to create maps, charts, infographics, or tables. Visitors to the site also can view country data by year and drill down by overlaying indicator data with other factors — including ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, language, location (urban/rural), and wealth — individually or in combination, to display gaps between the least and most privileged groups as well as national averages. In addition, indicator data can be compared across all regions and countries or within regions or grouped by national income level and can be sorted to show regional and country rankings by "most deprived," "absolute disparity," or "relative disparity" (between selected groups).
The latest country data for the United States, for instance, show that 7 percent of youth nationwide are out of school, including 7 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls, with the highest rates among American Indians/Alaska Natives (12 percent), followed by mixed race/Hispanic (10 percent), white/Hispanic, and African Americans (7 percent each); that youth from the poorest wealth quintile (10 percent) are most likely to be out school while those from the second-richest quintile (4 percent) are least likely to be out of school; and that Kentucky (20 percent) and Tennessee (1 percent) have the highest and lowest rates of out-of-school youth. A comparison across regions and countries shows that sub-Saharan Africa has the highest average rate (53 percent) of out-of-school youth, while Niger (88 percent) has the highest national rate. In addition, the greatest disparity in out-of-school youth by gender is found in sub-Saharan Africa (60 percent of girls, 45 percent of boys), while disparity by wealth is greater in Northern Africa/Western Asia and South Asia.