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Advanced Search Help

If you know exactly what you are looking for then the advanced search is for you. The advanced search allows you to refine your search criteria across 10 dimensions of data. It is usually a good idea to start off by selecting the countries you are interested in, and then select the indicators that you want to know about. Then select a wide range of years, such as 2002-2012. After you select a range of years the number of results matching your criteria will be displayed next to the Search button. Now you can refine the other 5 dimensions, and receive instant updates on the number of results that match your criteria. If the number of results reaches 0, try broadening your search by unselecting the last thing you clicked.

To start with a broad set of results it is a good idea to select::

  • National under the Sub-National dimension
  • All(combined) under the Urban/Rural dimension
  • Both under the Gender dimension

If you are new to searching for education data we also have 3 basic search options for you. You can search by Country, by Topic, or by School Level. These search options will still allow you to access the same data, just with a few less options to choose from.


Advanced Search Dimensions


Although the EPDC database is not limited to any particular group of countries, our primary focus is on data on education in low and middle income countries.  Select groups of countries for a cross-country comparison, or go through the country-based search to find information for a particular country.  Country-specific profiles with basic data and visuals can also be accessed through the country pages.


Sub-national disaggregations of education data are available for many - but not all - low and middle income countries on  These data are generally disaggregated to the first-level administrative division (the state or province level).  In some cases, household survey data sources treat groups of provinces or states as a single administrative division (for example several provinces may be grouped together as "North"). Visit our country pages to view a list of the sub-national units available for a particular country. Sub-national data are generally available only from household survey data and national administrative data sources.

As you fill in a data query, the estimated number of results at the bottom of the page will provide an indication of how much data you will receive for the sub-national units you selected.


The urban/ rural disaggregation is commonly available from data sources.  Categories designated as "urban" and "rural" are generally much more prevalent than "semi-urban", "remote" and "isolated", which may only be present for a handful of countries.  Select "All/Combined" to ignore the disaggregation by type of residence. 

School Level

EPDC prioritizes collecting data on education at the pre-primary, primary, and secondary school levels.  When possible, secondary level data are further broken down into lower and upper secondary data. With the exception of data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), which follow the ISCED classification system, EPDC strives to publish data in accordance with each country's own definition of  the structure of their school system. Unless otherwise noted, data are limited to the formal school system in each country.

PLEASE NOTE:  The selections under school level are mutually exclusive, i.e. a selection of grade-specific indicators will exclude data for which indicators are for primary or secondary level as a whole.  Similarly, selection of level as "primary" will not bring up results that are tied to a specific primary grade.  This distinction is important when users search for repetition and dropout rates that may be grade specific or general for the level.  Even more importantly, all learning outcomes data are tied to either a specific grade or a specific age (e.g. Prim G6 for SACMEQ and SERCE data, age 15 for PISA data) and therefore, searches for learning outcomes data where levels of education are marked as search criteria will generally yield no results.  Conversely, searches for gross and net enrollment indicators must be linked to a level, rather than grade.  We generally advise users to begin searches with the larger category and narrow down depending on the volume of results produced by the search; however, users must keep in mind the parameters of the indicators in question.


For easy search, indicators are grouped into thematic categories.  Select the indicators of your choice, noting that school participation, as well as the completion and progression indicators are more likely to have disaggregations within them.  If unsure of what a given indicator means, consult the indicator glossary.

Household Characteristics

Household characteristics provide descriptive information and are available for some but not all data. More specifically, characteristics are only associated with household survey, UIS and SACMEQ data. The most common characteristic type is Income Group, which describes the wealth quintile of the household. Other types of characteristics are Mother's Education, School System, Personal Characteristics and Family Background. If you are unsure what to select, select all, and then you may see what is available and continue to refine your data during Step 2.


Gender disaggregation is available for most common student participation and learning outcomes indicators.  Select "Both" if you wish to see combined average rates for both males and females.  Gender disaggregation is not available for numbers of teachers. 


Select the target year ranges using the drop down menus, keeping in mind that information is rarely available for every single year in a time series.  Detailed data from household survey datasets are typically available at 4-6 year intervals. National-level data from UIS, and data published by national administrative sources are more likely to be available on an annual basis. An overview of the years for which data are available can be found on each country page.

Age Group

Age group specifications are generally available for some survey based indicators, such as attendance rates for various subgroups, and out of school rates.  Leave this section blank if you are not sure what you're looking for, and monitor the estimate of available results at the bottom of the page.

Data Source

The data available through EPDC comes from 7 different source types: National Administrative, Census, EPDC, Household Survey, International Organizations, Learning Assessments and Publications. The majority of data comes from International Organizations, followed by Household Surveys. If you are unsure which source type to select, select all, and then you may refine your data in Step 2. You can read more about the available data sources here