Publication: ID4D Global Dataset 2021, Volume 1: Global ID Coverage Estimates

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Clark, Julia
Metz, Anna
Casher, Claire
This paper aims to estimate the number of people globally who do—and do not—have government-recognized proof of identity (“ID”). This work is an update to the most recent estimate produced in 2018, which found that just under 1 billion people did not have an ID. The World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative collected new data for this analysis: two rounds of survey-based data on ID ownership for adults (in partnership with the Global Findex Survey), as well as new administrative data acquired through outreach to ID authorities. By incorporating this data with the data sources used in 2018 and updating the methodology accordingly, we find that as of 2021 there are just under 850 million people globally without official proof of their identity. Around half are children, and the vast majority live in lower-income countries in Africa and South Asia. Analysis using individual-level survey data demonstrates that these 850 million are at a high risk of exclusion from basic services and economic opportunities and are among the most marginalized in their communities. Bridging this ID ownership gap is thus critical for ending extreme poverty, promoting shared prosperity, and realizing the global commitment to “Leave No One Behind.”
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Clark, Julia; Metz, Anna; Casher, Claire. 2022. ID4D Global Dataset 2021, Volume 1: Global ID Coverage Estimates. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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