United Nations Development Programme

Millennium Development Goals

Goals, Targets & Indicators

About Indicators

Information on this page taken from UN Millenium Goals Website.
By the year 2015, all 191 UN Member States have pledged to meet these goals.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world's countries and all the world's leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world's poorest.

"We will have time to reach the Millennium Development Goals – worldwide and in most, or even all, individual countries – but only if we break with business as usual. We cannot win overnight. Success will require sustained action across the entire decade between now and the deadline. It takes time to train the teachers, nurses and engineers; to build the roads, schools and hospitals; to grow the small and large businesses able to create the jobs and income needed. So we must start now. And we must more than double global development assistance over the next few years. Nothing less will help to achieve the Goals." United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi A. Annan

Click for Summary "Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, 1990-2005"
This site includes About MDG; Millennium Indicators Database, including country profiles; Summaries of Progress towards all 8 MDGs, 1990-2005; List of goals, targets, indicators; World and regional trends; Regional groupings; Key documents and links; Millennium Development Goals Report 2005

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Goals, targets and indicators

The Millennium Development Goals are an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives that world leaders agreed on at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. For each goal one or more targets have been set, most for 2015, using 1990 as a benchmark:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (Link to UN Pdf File)

Target for 2015: Halve the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and those who suffer from hunger.


  • Proportion of population below $1 (1993 PPP) per day (World Bank)
  • Poverty gap ratio [incidence x depth of poverty] (World Bank)
  • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption (World Bank)
  • Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption (FAO)

More than a billion people still live on less than US$1 a day: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and parts of Europe and Central Asia are falling short of the poverty target.

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2. Achieve universal primary education (Link to UN Pdf File)

Target for 2015: Ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school.


  • Net enrolment ratio in primary education (UNESCO)
  • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5 (UNESCO)
  • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds (UNESCO)

As many as 113 million children do not attend school, but the target is within reach. India, for example, should have 95 percent of its children in school by 2005.

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3. Promote gender equality and empower women (Link to UN Pdf File)

Targets for 2005 and 2015: Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.


  • Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education (UNESCO)
  • Ratio of literate women to men, 15-24 years old (UNESCO)
  • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector (ILO)
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament (IPU)

Two-thirds of illiterates are women, and the rate of employment among women is two-thirds that of men. The proportion of seats in parliaments held by women is increasing, reaching about one third in Argentina, Mozambique and South Africa.

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4. Reduce child mortality (Link to UN Pdf File)

Target for 2015: Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five


  • Under-five mortality rate (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Infant mortality rate (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Proportion of 1 year-old children immunized against measles (UNICEF-WHO)

Every year nearly 11 million young children die before their fifth birthday, mainly from preventable illnesses, but that number is down from 15 million in 1980.

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5. Improve maternal health (Link to UN Pdf File)

Target for 2015: Reduce by three-quarters the ratio of women dying in childbirth.


  • Maternal mortality ratio (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel (UNICEF-WHO)

In the developing world, the risk of dying in childbirth is one in 48, but virtually all countries now have safe motherhood programmes.

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6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (Link to UN Pdf File)

Target for 2015: Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.


  • HIV prevalence among pregnant women aged 15-24 years (UNAIDS-WHO-UNICEF)
  • Condom use rate of the contraceptive prevalence rate (UN Population Division)
  • Condom use at last high-risk sex (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Percentage of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Contraceptive prevalence rate (UN Population Division)
  • Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14 years (UNICEF-UNAIDS-WHO)
  • Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria (WHO)
  • Proportion of population in malaria-risk areas using effective malaria prevention and treatment measures (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis (WHO)
  • Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under DOTS (internationally recommended TB control strategy) (WHO)

Forty million people are living with HIV, including five million newly infected in 2001. Countries like Brazil, Senegal, Thailand and Uganda have shown that the spread of HIV can be stemmed.

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7. Ensure environmental sustainability (Link to UN Pdf File)


  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
  • By 2015, reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.
  • By 2020 achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.


  • Proportion of land area covered by forest (FAO)
  • Ratio of area protected to maintain biological diversity to surface area (UNEP-WCMC)
  • Energy use (kg oil equivalent) per $1,000 GDP (PPP) (IEA, World Bank)
  • Carbon dioxide emissions per capita (UNFCCC, UNSD) and consumption of ozone-depleting CFCs (ODP tons) (UNEP-Ozone Secretariat)
  • Proportion of population using solid fuels (WHO)
  • Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source, urban and rural (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Proportion of population with access to improved sanitation, urban and rural (UNICEF-WHO)
  • Proportion of households with access to secure tenure (UN-HABITAT)

More than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water and more than two billion lack sanitation. During the 1990s, however, nearly one billion people gained access to safe water and the same number to sanitation.

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8. Develop a global partnership for development (Link to UN Pdf File)


  • Develop further an open trading and financial system that includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – nationally and internationally
  • Address the least developed countries’ special needs, and the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States
  • Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt problems
  • Develop decent and productive work for youth
  • In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
  • In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communications technologies.


Official development assistance (ODA)

  • Net ODA, total and to LDCs, as percentage of OECD/Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors' gross national income (GNI)(OECD)
  • Proportion of total bilateral, sector-allocable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation) (OECD)
  • Proportion of bilateral ODA of OECD/DAC donors that is untied (OECD)
  • ODA received in landlocked developing countries as a proportion of their GNIs (OECD)
  • ODA received in small island developing States as proportion of their GNIs (OECD)

Market access

  • Proportion of total developed country imports (by value and excluding arms) from developing countries and from LDCs, admitted free of duty (UNCTAD, WTO, WB)
  • Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on agricultural products and textiles and clothing from developing countries (UNCTAD, WTO, WB)
  • Agricultural support estimate for OECD countries as percentage of their GDP (OECD)
  • Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity (OECD, WTO)

Debt sustainability

  • Total number of countries that have reached their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) decision points and number that have reached their HIPC completion points (cumulative) (IMF - World Bank)
  • Debt relief committed under HIPC initiative (IMF-World Bank)
  • Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services (IMF-World Bank)

Strategies for decent and productive work for youth

  • Unemployment rate of young people aged 15-24 years, each sex and total (ILO)f

Access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries

  • Proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis (WHO)

Make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

  • Telephone lines and cellular subscribers per 100 population (ITU)
  • Personal computers in use per 100 population and Internet users per 100 population (ITU)

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About Indicators

Many developing countries spend more on debt service than on social services. New aid commitments made in the first half of 2002 could mean an additional $12 billion per year by 2006.

UNDP, in collaboration with national governments, is coordinating reporting by countries on progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. The framework for reporting includes eight goals - based on the UN Millennium Declaration. For each goal there is one or more specific target, along with specific social, economic and environmental indicators used to track progress towards the goals.

The eight goals represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries determined, as the Millenium Declaration states, "to create an environment-at the national and global levels alike-which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty."

Support for reporting at the country level includes close consultation by UNDP with partners in the UN Development Group, other UN partners, the World Bank, IMF and OECD and regional groupings and experts. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is coordinating reporting on progress towards the goals at the global level.

Monitoring progress is easier for some targets than for others and good quality data for some indicators are not yet available for many countries. This underscores the need to assist countries in building national capacity in compiling vital data.

Millennium Development Goal Indicators Database


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