More than 57 million children worldwide did not have access to a classroom in 2011, according to statistics released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which took into account data from 164 countries. The actual number of children without access to a school education might be more than 100 million, according to United Nations estimates, but it can be difficult to track the numbers because of illegal child labor or child trafficking. The country that had the most children without access to a classroom in 2011 was Nigeria, with about 10.5 million, followed by Pakistan at 5.4 million. Ethiopia, India and the Philippines also had more than 1 million each. The total number reported by UNESCO decreased by 2 million from 2010 to 2011.
More about child education:
- In the US in 1776, less than 50% of white children — and almost no black children — received a formal education. That percentage for whites is greater than the 2011 rates in the world's least educated countries.
- The majority of children not attending school tend to be girls, which is thought to be the result of social gender expectations.
- It is estimated that for every year of school a person in a developing country completes, his or her future income increases by about 10%.