School enrollment, primary (% net)

Definition: Net enrollment rate is the ratio of children of official school age who are enrolled in school to the population of the corresponding official school age. Primary education provides children with basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills along with an elementary understanding of such subjects as history, geography, natural science, social science, art, and music.

Description: The map below shows how School enrollment, primary (% net) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Japan, with a value of 99.95. The country with the lowest value in the world is Somalia, with a value of 15.00.

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Gross enrollment ratios indicate the capacity of each level of the education system, but a high ratio may reflect a substantial number of overage children enrolled in each grade because of repetition or late entry rather than a successful education system. The net enrollment rate excludes overage and underage students and more accurately captures the system's coverage and internal efficiency. Differences between the gross enrollment ratio and the net enrollment rate show the incidence of overage and underage enrollments.

Limitations and Exceptions: Enrollment indicators are based on annual school surveys, but do not necessarily reflect actual attendance or dropout rates during the year. Also, the length of education differs across countries and can influence enrollment rates, although the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) tries to minimize the difference. For example, a shorter duration for primary education tends to increase the rate; a longer one to decrease it (in part because older children are more at risk of dropping out). Moreover, age at enrollment may be inaccurately estimated or misstated, especially in communities where registration of births is not strictly enforced.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Net enrollment rate for primary school is calculated by dividing the number of students of official school age enrolled in primary education by the population of the age group which officially corresponds to primary education, and multiplying by 100. Data on education are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from official responses to its annual education survey. All the data are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. The current version was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2011. Population data are drawn from the United Nations Population Division. Using a single source for population data standardizes definitions, estimations, and interpolation methods, ensuring a consistent methodology across countries and minimizing potential enumeration problems in national censuses. The reference years reflect the school year for which the data are presented. In some countries the school year spans two calendar years (for example, from September 2010 to June 2011); in these cases the reference year refers to the year in which the school year ended (2011 in the example).

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual