4.6.1 Proficiency in Functional Literacy
Target 4.6: By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Custodian Organization: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UNESCO-UIS)
Tier Classification: Tier II
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: The proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) and of adults (aged 15 years and above) have achieved or exceeded a given level of proficiency in (a) literacy and (b) numeracy. The minimum proficiency level will be measured relative to new common literacy and numeracy scales currently in development.
Concepts: The fixed level of proficiency is the benchmark of basic knowledge in a domain (literacy or numeracy) measured through learning assessments. Currently, there are no common standards validated by the international community or countries. The indicator shows data published by each of the agencies and organizations specialized in cross-national learning assessments.
Rationale: The indicator is a direct measure of the skill levels of youth and adults in the two areas: literacy and numeracy. There is only one threshold that divides youth and adults into above and below minimum level:
(a) Below minimum level is the proportion of youth and adults who do not achieve the minimum standard as set-up by countries according to the globally defined minimum competencies.
(b) Above minimum level is the proportion of youth and adults who have achieved the minimum standard. Due to heterogeneity of performance levels set by national and cross-national assessments, these performance levels will have to be mapped to the globally defined basic and proficiency levels. Once the performance levels are mapped, the global education community will be able to identify for each country the proportion of youth and adults above and below minimum level.
Limitations: The measurement of youth and adult skills requires some form of direct assessment. Using household surveys to measure learning can be costly and difficult to administer and may underestimate learning in areas that are critical to daily life but are harder to assess in standardized approaches. The result may be inaccurate representations of what youth and adults know and can do, especially in relation to applying skills that may vary across contexts.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data is provided to the United Nations Statistics Division by the respective nation, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.
4.6.1 Proficiency in Functional Literacy in the Sustainable Development Goals
Click on the SDG to reveal more information
4. Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools particularly for women and girls. Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.
Related 4.6.1 Proficiency in Functional Literacy Targets
By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy