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Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals: The ILO Social Security Inquiry

Updated by Jeronim Capaldo , Victoria Giroud-Castiella on 04.08.2016

Since 1940, the ILO collects and analyses quantitative information on social protection schemes around the world. The ILO Social Security Inquiry (SSI) is the main source of global data on social protection, used daily by policy makers, officials of international organizations and researchers. 


More statistical resources


Global databases on social security

    The Social Security Inquiry | Database  | Manual 
    Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws (ILO/TRAVAIL): Working Time - Minimum Wages - Maternity Protection
    Asian Development Bank. Regional tables More
    CEPAL / ECLAC (English)
  • CEPALSTAT | Statistical databases and documents More
  • Programas de Transferencias Condicionadas - CCT expenditure data, periodically updated data from all countries in the LAC region More
  • Social pension database (Pensiones sociales - Base de datos de programas de protección social no contributiva en America Latina y el Caribe) - qualitative and quantitative information) More
  • Series of country report describing social protection system More
  • Monitoring the first Millennium Development Goal Database More  [Quantitative]

Eurostat | ESSPROS datatabase under the Living conditions and welfare database More
Eurostat | CIRCA qualitative information More [Qualitative]

    Helpage international
  • Pension watch More
  • Global AgeWatch:  a website for evidence and data on population ageing and development More
  • Global AgeWatch national report cards More
    International Social Security Association
  • ISSA Statistical Database on Social Security in Developing Countries More
  • ISSA-members database More
  • ISSA Country profiles More
    International Monetary Fund | Government Finance Statistics (GFS) More
    Ipeadata | Provided and managed by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), Brazil More
    OECD | SOCX database on social expenditure More
OECD | Health Data 2010: Statistics and Indicators More
OECD | Family database More
    Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database (version 5 2010) More
Armando Barrientos, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa and Mathilde Maitrot Brooks World Poverty Institute
The University of Manchester
    Social transfers evidence More
The Social Transfers Evidence Base is an Internet-based database system that enables users to extract bullet-point summaries on programme impact from over 140 studies.
  • Identifying Fiscal Space: Options for Social and Economic Development for Children and Poor Households in 184 Countries More
    World Bank
  • Safety Net Spending database More
  • World Development indicators More
  • Pension data More
  • ASPIRE (Atlas of Social Protection: Indicators of Resilience and Equity) More
    World Health Organization
  • Global Health Observatory | WHO Statistical Information System More
  • National Health Account More

Useful non social security global databases

    ILO Database of labour statistics LABORSTA
    Key Indicators of the Labour Market KILM
    Latin America and Caribbean Labour Information System Quipustat
    Direct access to ILO databases Main page
    UN Data More
    International Monetary Fund, Data and Statistics More
    World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision Population Database More
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, statistics More
    World Food Programme: Hunger statistics | More
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, statistics More
    UN-Habitat, statistics More

Household surveys

    Social security data collection through existing national surveys More
    People security surveys datasets and questionnaires Questionnaires and microdata
    ILO Labour force surveys database Database
    Links to international statistical agencies and national statistical office More
    Demographic Health Surveys (DHS)
It is equipped with a powerful STATcompiler: all survey reports are accessible with their questionnaires
    ISHN | International Household Survey Network.
A web-based Central Survey and Census Catalog, which provides users with access to selected survey and census metadata, documentation and datasets. Access to underlying electronic files is enforced and controlled according to each official depositor's policy. Access to the website of National Statistical Offices is facilitated through IHSN and tabulations and metadata are more and more accessible on national websites.
    World Bank - Living Standards Measurement Study More
    Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)
Since the mid-1990s, the MICS (developed by UNICEF) has enabled many countries to produce statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS. This website provides access to survey tools and raw data.
    SHARE - Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe More
    The Health and Retirement Study - A Longitudinal Study of Health, Retirement, and Aging sponsored by the National Institute on Aging More
    The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) - a cross-national data archive More

Statistics and indicators

Overview of social security indicators by Social protection floor guarantees

(1) Access to essential health care | main indicators of social health protection
Data   Health expenditure not financed out of pocket by private households (1995-2011) More
Social health protection coverage as a percentage of the population, Global estimates More
The multiple dimensions of social health protection: selected indicators 2011 More
Main data sources  
(2) Children
Data   Child and family benefits and financing sources | Map
Public social security expenditure on benefits targeting children (or families with children) | More
Main data sources  
(3) Working age
Data   Working age

Public social protection expenditure on benefits targeting persons in working age More

  • Extent of legal coverage worldwide as a percentage of the labour force, latest available year More
  • Effective coverage: percentage of the unemployed receiving unemployment benefits, country data, 1990-2013 (percentages) More
Employment injury

Extent of legal coverage as a percentage of economically active population (by country and regional estimates), 201/13 More

  • Statutory coverage for maternity cash benefits (% employed women), 2013 Map
  • Effective coverage for maternity cash benefits (% employed women), 2013 Map
  • Statutory duration of maternity benefits (weeks), 2013 Map
  • Statuory level of cash maternity benefit, 2013 (per cent of previous earnings) Map
  • Type of maternity benefits, 2013 Map
Main data sources  
(4) Old age
  • Share of population above the statutory pensionable age receiving an old-age pension More
  • Active contributors to an old age pension (percentage of the labour force and the working age) More
  • Public social protection expenditure on benefits targeting persons in old age More
  • Decent Work Indicators - Concepts and definitions (ILO 2012) More
Main data sources  
(5) Public expenditure indicators (not related to specific social security functions)
Data   Public social social security expenditure, several years (percentage of GDP) More
Main data sources  

Methodological tools

Manuals & guidelines

      Resolution concerning the development of social security statistics. Adopted by the Ninth International Conference of Labour Statisticians (April-May 1957) More
Eurostat | ESSPROS Manual - The European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics (2012 edition)
OECD | The Social Expenditure database: An Interpretive Guide, SOCX 1980-2003 (OECD 2007)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Asian Development Bank (ADB) | The Revised Social Protection Index: Methodology and Handbook, ADB 2012
Canberra Group Handbook on Household Income Statistics - see :
  • Handbook on household income statistics (Second edition - 2011)
  • Report and Recommendations (First edition - 2001)

Survey questionnaires & tools

      Mapping of social security provisions by NG0s, government agencies and other civil society organizations Module of questions on social protection to be included in regular household surveys (including labour force surveys) More