Labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15-64) (modeled ILO estimate) - Country Ranking - Europe

Definition: Labor force participation rate is the proportion of the population ages 15-64 that is economically active: all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period.

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in September 2019.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Iceland 85.80 2019
2 Sweden 81.22 2019
3 Switzerland 79.63 2019
4 Denmark 76.22 2019
5 Netherlands 75.63 2019
6 Norway 75.28 2019
7 Estonia 75.26 2019
8 Finland 75.21 2019
9 Lithuania 75.19 2019
10 Latvia 74.71 2019
11 Belarus 74.68 2019
12 Germany 74.35 2019
13 United Kingdom 72.96 2019
14 Austria 71.86 2019
15 Portugal 71.85 2019
16 Slovenia 71.48 2019
17 Czech Republic 69.54 2019
18 Cyprus 69.10 2019
19 Spain 68.77 2019
20 France 67.69 2019
21 Bulgaria 67.68 2019
22 Ireland 66.67 2019
23 Slovak Republic 66.66 2019
24 Luxembourg 65.91 2019
25 Hungary 65.34 2019
26 Belgium 63.53 2019
27 Poland 63.38 2019
28 Croatia 62.22 2019
29 Ukraine 60.50 2019
30 Greece 60.50 2019
31 Serbia 59.56 2019
32 Romania 58.12 2019
33 Malta 57.71 2019
34 Albania 56.15 2019
35 Italy 55.76 2019
36 Montenegro 53.86 2019
37 North Macedonia 52.07 2019
38 Bosnia and Herzegovina 45.33 2019
39 Moldova 44.53 2019
40 Turkey 37.61 2019

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Development Relevance: Estimates of women in the labor force and employment are generally lower than those of men and are not comparable internationally, reflecting that demographic, social, legal, and cultural trends and norms determine whether women's activities are regarded as economic. In many low-income countries women often work on farms or in other family enterprises without pay, and others work in or near their homes, mixing work and family activities during the day. In many high-income economies, women have been increasingly acquiring higher education that has led to better-compensated, longer-term careers rather than lower-skilled, shorter-term jobs. However, access to good- paying occupations for women remains unequal in many occupations and countries around the world. Labor force statistics by gender is important to monitor gender disparities in employment and unemployment patterns.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on the labor force are compiled by the ILO from labor force surveys, censuses, and establishment censuses and surveys. For some countries a combination of these sources is used. Labor force surveys are the most comprehensive source for internationally comparable labor force data. They can cover all non-institutionalized civilians, all branches and sectors of the economy, and all categories of workers, including people holding multiple jobs. By contrast, labor force data from population censuses are often based on a limited number of questions on the economic characteristics of individuals, with little scope to probe. The resulting data often differ from labor force survey data and vary considerably by country, depending on the census scope and coverage. Establishment censuses and surveys provide data only on the employed population, not unemployed workers, workers in small establishments, or workers in the informal sector. The reference period of a census or survey is another important source of differences: in some countries data refer to people's status on the day of the census or survey or during a specific period before the inquiry date, while in others data are recorded without reference to any period. In countries, where the household is the basic unit of production and all members contribute to output, but some at low intensity or irregularly, the estimated labor force may be much smaller than the numbers actually working. Differing definitions of employment age also affect comparability. For most countries the working age is 15 and older, but in some countries children younger than 15 work full- or part-time and are included in the estimates. Similarly, some countries have an upper age limit. As a result, calculations may systematically over- or underestimate actual rates.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The labor force is the supply of labor available for producing goods and services in an economy. It includes people who are currently employed and people who are unemployed but seeking work as well as first-time job-seekers. Not everyone who works is included, however. Unpaid workers, family workers, and students are often omitted, and some countries do not count members of the armed forces. Labor force size tends to vary during the year as seasonal workers enter and leave. The series is part of the ILO estimates and is harmonized to ensure comparability across countries and over time by accounting for differences in data source, scope of coverage, methodology, and other country-specific factors. The estimates are based mainly on nationally representative labor force surveys, with other sources (population censuses and nationally reported estimates) used only when no survey data are available.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: National estimates are also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.