Statistics on the Informal Economy

Analysis of informal employment and informal workers is a new area of statistical development. This section of the website examines the available data, as well as the concepts, definitions and methods that underpin this growing area of investigation.

Statistical Picture

To inform economic and social policies, statistics are required on the size, composition, contribution, and other dimensions of the informal economy. Only limited data have been available on informal employment and the informal economy until recently. This section contains key indicators on the size and composition of the informal economy in developing and developed countries.

See the Statistical Picture
See also Key Facts on Women and Paid Work (2016). 

Statistical Concepts, Definitions & Methods

Dialogue and collaboration between statisticians and users of statistics is crucial to producing timely data that inform policy. This section provides interested users of statistics on informal employment with the information required to maximize the use of available data, as well as to undertake discussions with statistics producers about their data needs.

See Concepts, Definitions & Methods.

The Development of Statistics on the Informal Economy

Statistics on the informal economy is a relatively new field of statistics. This section describes the substantial progress made in the development of these statistics since 1993, when the Conference of Labour Statisticians recommended a statistical definition of informal sector. It also highlights the collaborative efforts of official statisticians, advocates and other users of these data which have been important in achieving this progress.

See Development of Statistics on the Informal Economy.


See all WIEGO blogs about Statistics

Informal Economy Topic