Percentage of children over-age for grade (primary education, lower secondary education)


SDG Indicator 4.1.5: Percentage of pupils in each level of education (primary and lower secondary general education) who are at least 2 years above the intended age for their grade.

The intended age for a given grade is the age at which pupils would enter the grade if they had started school at the official primary entrance age, had studied full-time and had progressed without repeating or skipping a grade.

Data source

Administrative data from schools or household survey data on enrolment by single year of age and grade; population censuses and surveys for population estimates by single year of age (if using administrative data on enrolment); administrative data from ministries of education on the structure of the education system.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Calculation method

The sum of enrolments across all grades in the given level of education which are 2 or more years older than the intended age for the given grade is expressed as a percentage of the total enrolment in the given level of education.

Data required

Enrolment by single year of age in each grade, population estimates by single year of age and data on the structure (entrance age and duration) of each level of education.


A low value of this indicator will show that the majority of students start school on time and progress with minimum levels of grade repetition. Late school entry and significant grade repetition exacerbate over-age progression and should be discouraged as both are associated with lower levels of student learning achievement.


Inconsistencies between enrolment and population data from different sources may result in inaccurate estimates of this indicator. Data from household surveys conducted late in the school year where ages are recorded at the enumeration date may result in over-estimates.


The indicator measures progress towards ensuring all girls and boys complete a full cycle of quality primary and lower secondary education and achieve at least minimum levels of proficiency in reading and mathematics at each level.

Children may be over-age for a grade because they started school late and/or they have repeated one or more previous grades.

Quality standards

Accurate data on school age population by single year of age, on the structure of each level of education (primary, lower secondary), and on enrolment by single year of age in each grade from all types of educational institutions (public and private), are essential for calculating this indicator. The UIS sets standards, develop questionnaires and quality control protocols for country data reporting, and maintains the global database on the structure of education and enrolment data. The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) produces and maintains population data. National population data that comply with UIS quality standards can also be used.

Types of disaggregation

By sex (administrative data); by sex, location, and socio-economic status (household surveys) and others as available.