UNFPAState of World Population 2002
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HOME: STATE OF WORLD POPULATION 2002: Poverty and Education
State of World Population
Characterizing Poverty
Macro-economics, Poverty, Population and Development
Women and Gender Inequality
Health and Poverty
HIV/AIDS and Poverty
Poverty and Education
Population, Poverty and Global Development Goals: the Way Ahead
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Poverty and Education

Wealth Differentials in Access and Attainment
The Gender Gap
Returns on Education Investments for the Poor
Meeting the Goals of the ICPD


Although overall access to basic education has risen substantially over the last decade in many developing countries, the poor are still less likely ever to attend school, less likely to be currently attending school, and more likely to repeat grades than those who are wealthier.

Education patterns among the poor differ distinctly by region. In South Asia and in West and Central Africa, a large minority of children from poor households never enrol in school. In Latin America, in contrast, virtually all children complete the first grade, but subsequent dropout rates are high. For example, 92 per cent of 15 to 19 year olds from poor households in Brazil complete first grade, but only half complete grade five. In other developing regions the pattern among the poor is characterized by higher proportions ever enrolling and later dropout (1).

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