6 Achieve universal primary education

Where are we?

Too many children are still denied their right to primary education, if current trends continue the world will not meet the goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Adjusted net enrolment rate in primary education, 2000 and 2011 (Percentage).
(source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013)

Bar Chart

  • In 2011, 57 million children of primary school age were out of school, down from 102 million in 2000.
  • More than half of these out-of school children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Globally, 123 million youth (aged 15 to 24) lack basic reading and writing skills; 61 per cent of them are young women.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013

Targets for MDG2
  1. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
    • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
    • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary
    • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men
The World We Want
A Million Voices: The World We Want

This report by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) collects the perspectives on the 'world we want' from over 1 million people around the globe.

View more MDG publications