UNESCO Institute for Statistics


The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)[1] is the statistical office of UNESCO and is the UN depository for cross-nationally comparable statistics on education, science and technology, culture, and communication.

The UIS was established in 1999. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, it was created to improve UNESCO's statistical programme and to develop and deliver the timely, accurate and policy-relevant statistics that can be compared across countries.[2]

The Institute serves Member states of UNESCO, as well as inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutes, universities and citizens, with all data freely available.

The Institute provides education data to many global reports and databases, such as: the SDG global database of the UN Stats Division, the Global Education Monitoring Report, World Development Indicators and World Development Report (World Bank), Human Development Report (UNDP), State of the World’s Children (UNICEF).

Sex-disaggregated indicators are systematically integrated into all UIS data collections.


Areas of work


Programme highlights

UIS Open Data

All UIS data are freely available in different formats.

Designed for expert users, the UIS database is an online resource that provides country profiles, indicators and data series in UNESCO’s fields of competence, tools to build statistical tables, related documentation, and metadata. Developers and researchers can also use an API [5] to download UIS data in machine-readable formats.

General users can explore the data through a series of indicator pages that present charts and tables that can easily be customized, shared and downloaded.[citation needed]

The UIS also has a Data Visualisation Gallery, featuring interactive products on key issues, such as women in science, children out of school and girls’ education in Africa.

Capacity building

The Institute works with national statisticians and policymakers to improve data quality by providing training, diagnostic tools as well as standards and guidelines on the collection, analysis and use of statistical information. These services take many forms – from regional training workshops to on-site technical assistance projects through the UIS network of statistical advisors in the field.

Research and analysis

The UIS provides analytical services in a number of critical policy areas, such as exclusion from education, education quality, education finance, investments in research and development, etc.


The UIS publishes statistical and analytical reports, in addition to methodological guides and international classifications. The Institute’s flagship publication, the Sustainable Development Data Digest,[6] is available in several UN languages.

The Institute also produces a series of eAtlases, using interactive maps and charts to present the data on key issues, such as Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030, gender inequality in education, literacy, teachers and global trends in R&D.


As an autonomous organization, the UIS has its own Governing Board that consists of 12 experts from different regions and organizational backgrounds. The Board’s primary tasks are to ensure the independence of the Institute, define UIS policy and its broad functions, as well as to approve its programme and budget. In addition, the Board monitors, evaluates and advises on the Institute’s operations.


  1. ^ [1] UNESCO Institute for Statistics website.
  2. ^ [2] UIS Basic Texts, Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  3. ^ U NESCO Institute for Statistics Medium-Term Strategy 2017-2021
  4. ^ [3] International Standard Classification of Education 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  5. ^ [4] UIS API data portal.
  6. ^ [5] Sustainable Development Data Digest: Laying the Foundation to Measure Sustainable Development Goal 4. Retrieved February 3, 2017.