Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Indicator 5.a.1: (a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

(a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rightsbearers of agricultural land, type of tenure

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available
Actual indicator available - description
Date of national source publication
Method of computation We propose using the 'total agricultural population' as denominator of part (a), instead of the total population, because ownership or right-security over agricultural land is obviously relevant only for the people whose livelihood rely on agriculture. Part (a) ( People with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land / Total agricultural population ) * 100 Part (b) ( Women with ownership or rights over agricultural land / Total owners or rights bearers over agricultural land ) * 100
Scheduled update by national source
U.S. method of computation
Comments and limitations
Date metadata updated
Disaggregation geography
Unit of measurement
Disaggregation categories
International and national references
Time period
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name (a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rightsbearers of agricultural land, type of tenure
Target name Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
Global indicator description The indicator is divided in two parts: (a) measures the incidence of people with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land among the total agricultural population; while (b) focusses on the gender parity measuring the extent to which women are disadvantaged in ownership or rights over agricultural land. Part (a) and part (b) cannot be seen as two different indicators, they rather provide two complementary information. Plus, they can be computed using (almost) the same data, the main difference between the 2 parts being only the denominator. Definition of agricultural land: Since Target 1.4 explicitly refers to equal rights on economic resources, the proposed indicator focuses on land that can be used as a productive resource for livelihood development, thus the focus on agricultural land. The focus on land as productive resource (or for livelihood development) helps deriving indication on empowerment and advancement towards poverty reduction, compared to lands used for other purposes that are not economically and livelihood-related. This is particularly true in developing countries where poverty reduction strategies are necessarily linked to agricultural development. The term 'agricultural land' is used to indicate land used for farming, livestock and forestry activities. This emphasizes the importance to monitor ownership/secure rights on land of farm-based livelihood people as well as people whose main source of livelihood is livestock and forestry. Similarly the term 'agricultural population' has to be intended in a broad sense ' i.e. including people living out of farming, livestock and forestry, with land rights or without (landless). Definition of ownership and rights over land: The landowner is the legal owner of the land. Definitions of ownership may vary across countries and surveys. For instance, documented ownership means that ownership is verified through title or deed, while reported ownership relies on individuals' own judgment. Reported ownership may be more appropriate in countries where a formal registration system is not in place. Additionally, in some countries, particularly where land private ownership is not applicable, it is more appropriate to investigate rights over land using proxies able to capture individuals' capability to control and take decisions over the land. This may include settings where customary rights prevail as opposed to individual ownership. Proxies of such "bundle of rights" may include the right to sell, to bequeath or the right to decide how to use the land. Since the definition of ownership and land rights has to take into account what is more relevant in the country, the indicator will need to be complemented with metadata that specify what definition(s) of ownership or rights over land is/are employed. Tenure Type Finally and most importantly, this indicator has to be disaggregated by type of tenure. Therefore, the data collection methodology should always include a question on land tenure. Land tenure refers to the arrangements or rights under which people have access to land, and it is one of the key elements to tenure security.5 There are different formal and informal tenure systems around the world and the distinction between legal and non-legal tenure is often blurred. When available, the indicator shall also be disaggregated by documented tenure rights. The FAO World Census of Agriculture encourages countries to use country-specific types of tenure whilst ensuring the possibility to classify ex-post under the following broad categories: 1) legal ownership or legal owner-like possession; 2) Non-legal ownership or non-legal owner-like possession; 3) Rented land from someone else; 4) Various other types of land tenure. Broadly speaking, legal ownership or legal owner-like possession describes land rights that provide statutory security of tenure. This may be done through a formal land title system, but may also include certain forms of customary land tenure arrangements where land rights are registered or certified in some way. The following types of tenure arrangements may be included under this heading: Ownership is certified through a title, which gives the individual the right to determine the nature and extent of the use of the land. Land is held under conditions that enable it to be operated as if legally owned. E.g., the land is operated under hereditary tenure, perpetual lease, or long-term lease, with nominal or no rent. The land is held under a tribal, communal, or traditional form of tenure, which is legally recognized by the state. Such arrangements usually involve land being held on a tribal, village, kindred or clan basis, with land ownership being communal in character but with certain individual rights being held by virtue of membership in the social unit. Such arrangements can be formalized through the establishment of legal procedures to identify the community's land and to manage the land rights of community members.
UN designated tier 2
UN custodial agency FAO, UN Women, UNSD (Partnering Agencies: UNEP, World Bank, UN Habitat)
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Agency Staff Name
Agency Survey Dataset
Link to data source

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