Exclusion from Education: The Economic Cost of Out-of-School Children in 20 Countries

Thomas, Milan; Burnett, NicholasResults for Development Institute (R4D)Educate a Child (EAC)2013

This report is an extension of an earlier study that reviewed the benefits of primary education and estimated the economic cost associated with large populations of out-of-school children (OOSC). It updates economic cost estimates to reflect the latest data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), further develops the estimation methodology, and expands the estimation exercise to a set of 20 low- and middle-income countries. The estimates confirm the value of primary education: the average cost of out-of-school children across the 20 countries analyzed is 2.74% of GDP (ranging from 0.04% in Vietnam to 10.32% in Gambia). For all countries with available data on public expenditure for primary education, the increase in spending required to achieve universal primary education is dwarfed by the economic cost of out-of-school children (on average, by a factor of 5).

Out-of-School ChildrenSub-Saharan AfricaEast Asia and PacificMiddle East and North AfricaSouth AsiaIndiaPakistanGhanaNigeriaBangladeshBrazilBurkina FasoCambodiaCote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)Democratic Republic of the CongoEthiopiaIndonesiaSenegalThailandThe GambiaMaliLiberiaLesothoVietnamYemenOriginal researchDebate in global education

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