Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture, 1st Edition

International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Place of Publication: Geneva
  • Publisher: International Labour Organization

WIEGO compiled and analyzed available national data on informal employment for this ILO publication, which became  the pre-eminent source of statistics on informal employment. 


This report provides a statistical picture, using the available data, of the informal economy world wide. Regional estimates based on a simple arithmetic mean for countries with data show that informal employment comprises one-half to three-quarters of non-agricultural employment in developing countries.


It also shows that informal employment is generally a larger source of employment for women than for men in the developing world. Other than in North Africa where 43 per cent of women workers are in informal employment, 60 per cent or more of women workers in the developing world are in informal employment (outside agriculture).

The report also provides data on workers in developed countries who generally do not receive employment-based benefits or social protection and therefore in developing countries would be identified as informally employed.



A new edition, Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture (Second Edition), was published jointly by WIEGO and ILO in 2013 and marks a significant step forward.

Informal Economy Topic
Publication Type