Social indicators

Please note this page is currently under revision.

Social indicators covering a wide range of subject-matter fields are compiled by the Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, from many national and international sources.

The indicators presented here consist mainly of the minimum list which has been proposed for follow-up and monitoring implementation of major United Nations conferences on children, population and development, social development and women. This minimum list is contained in the Report of the Expert Group on the Statistical Implications of Recent Major United Nations Conferences (E/CN.3/AC.1/1996/R.4).

Technical background on the development of social indicators is contained in two United Nations publications, Handbook on Social Indicators (United Nations publication, Series F, No. 49, 1989) and Towards a System of Social and Demographic Statistics (United Nations publication, Series F, No. 18, 1975)

Indicators are provided on the following areas:


Table 1a - Population size excel file
  • Population, total and by sex (in thousands)
  • Sex ratio (women/100 men)
Table 1b - Composition of the population excel file
  • Percentage of total population under 15 years
  • Percentage of total population aged 60 years and above, by sex
  • Sex ratio in 60+ age group (men/100 women)
Table 1c - Population growth and distribution excel file
  • Annual population growth rate
  • Percentage urban population
  • Sex ratio (women/100 men) of international migrants


Table 2a - Life expectancy excel file
  • Life expectancy at birth, by sex
  • Life expectancy at age 60, by sex
Table 2b - Maternal mortality and infant mortality excel file
  • Maternal mortality ratio
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Under 5 mortality rate
Table 2c - Child-bearing excel file
  • Adolescent fertility rate
  • Total fertility rate
Table 2d - Contraceptive prevalence excel file
  • Contraceptive prevalence among married women of childbearing age, any method and modern method
Table 2e - HIV/AIDS excel file
  • Estimated number of adults living with HIV/AIDS
  • Women's share of adults living with HIV/AIDS


Table 3a – Persons per room excel file
  • Average number of persons per room by urban/rural area
Table 3b – Human settlements excel file
  • Population distribution (%) by urban/rural area
  • Annual rate of population change (%) by urban/rural area
Table 3c– Water supply and sanitation excel file
  • Improved Drinking Water Coverage (%) by urban/rural area
  • Improved Sanitation Coverage (%) y urban/rural area


Table 4a - Literacy excel file
  • Adult (15+) literacy rate, by sex
  • Youth (15-24) literacy rate, by sex
Table 4b - Primary education excel file
  • Primary net enrolment ratio, by sex
  • Girl's share of primary enrolment
Table 4c - Secondary education excel file
  • Secondary net enrolment ratio, by sex
  • Girl's share of secondary enrolment
Table 4d - Tertiary education excel file
  • Tertiary gross enrolment ratio, by sex
  • Women's share of tertiary enrolment
Table 4e – School life expectancy excel file
  • School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) by sex


Table 5a – Income and economic activity excel file
  • Adult (15+) economic activity rate, by sex
  • Per capita GDP (US dollars)
Table 5b - Part-time employment excel file
  • Percentage of adult employment that is part-time, by sex
  • Women's share of part-time employment
Table 5c - Distribution of labour force by status in employment excel file
  • Percentage employees, by sex
  • Percentage employers, by sex
  • Percentage own-account workers, by sex
  • Percentage contributing family workers, by sex
Table 5d - Adult unemployment excel file
  • Unemployment rate, by sex