MDG Basics

The Millennium Development Goals focus the efforts of the world community on achieving significant, measurable improvements in people's lives. They establish yardsticks for measuring results, not just for developing countries but for rich countries that help to fund development programs and for the multilateral institutions that help countries implement them.

The first seven goals are mutually reinforcing and are directed at reducing poverty in all its forms. The last goal — global partnership for development — is about the means to achieve the first seven.

The list of goals, targets and indicators presented below is the new official MDG Framework incorporating four additional targets and related indicators and other indicator improvements adopted at the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007.  Learn more about how UNFPA's work affects each of the goals.

MDG Targets and Indicators


Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day

  • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
  • Poverty gap ratio (incidence x depth of poverty)
  • Share of poorest quintile in national income or consumption

Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

  • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
  • Employment-to-population ratio
  • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
  • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger


  • Prevalence of underweight in children under five years of age
  • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling


  • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
  • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary school
  • Literacy rate of 15 to 24-year-olds, women and men

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education no later than 2015


  • Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education
  • Share of women in wage employment in the nonagricultural sector
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate


  • Under-five mortality rate
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Proportion of one-year-old children immunized against measles

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio

  • Maternal mortality ratio
  • Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel

Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health



  • Contraceptive prevalence rate
  • Adolescent birth rate
  • Antenatal care coverage (at least one visit and at least four visits)
  • Unmet need for family planning

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

  • HIV prevalence among population aged 15-24 years
  • Condom use at last high-risk sex
  • Proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS
  • Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14 years

Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it

  • Proportion of population with advanced HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs

Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases





  • Incidence and death rates associated with malaria
  • Proportion of children under 5 sleeping under insecticide-treated bed-nets
  • Proportion of children under 5 with fever who are treated with appropriate anti-malarial drugs
  • Incidence, prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
  • Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under directly observed treatment short course

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and program and reverse the loss of environmental resources

  • Proportion of land area covered by forest
  • Carbon dioxide emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
  • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
  • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
  • Proportion of total water resources used

Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss

  • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  • Proportion of species threatened with extinction

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

  • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
  • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility

By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers


  • Proportion of urban population living in slums

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development 1

NOTE: The first four targets in Goal 8 share the first 12 indicators.

Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, nondiscriminatory trading and financial system (includes a commitment to good governance, development, and poverty reduction—both nationally and internationally)


Official development assistance

  • Net ODA, total and to the least developed countries, as percentage of OECD/DAC donors’ gross national income
  • Proportion of total bilateral, sector-allocable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation)
  • Proportion of bilateral official development assistance of OECD/DAC donors that is untied
  • ODA received in landlocked developing countries as a proportion of their gross national incomes
  • ODA received in small island developing States as a proportion of their gross national incomes

Market access

  • Proportion of total developed country imports (by value and excluding arms) from developing countries and least developed countries, admitted free of duty
  • Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on agricultural products and textiles and clothing from developing countries
  • Agricultural support estimate for OECD countries as a percentage of their gross domestic product
  • Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity

Debt sustainability

  • Total number of countries that have reached their HIPC decision points and number that have reached their HIPC completion points (cumulative)
  • Debt relief committed under HIPC and MDRI Initiative
  • Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services

Address the special needs of the least developed countries (includes tariff-and quota-free access for exports enhanced program of debt relief for heaviy indebted poor countries (HICP) and cancellation of official bilateral debt, and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction)



Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing states (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the 22nd special session of the General Assembly)


Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term

In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries

  • Proportion of population with access to affordable, essential drugs on a sustainable basis

In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications


  • Telephone lines per 100 people
  • Personal computers per 100 people
  • Internet users per 100 people

1Some of the indicators listed below will be monitored separately for the least developed countries, Africa, landlocked countries, and small island developing states.