Home > Gender and Land Rights Database > Statistics > Statistics
Gender and Land Rights Database

On this page, you will find a scroll-down list of statistics indicators and their definitions in the box below. The land-related statistics are disaggregated by gender and include specific data on land and agricultural ownership by men and women. The data is shown in the interactive map and are also available in graph and table formats.


Gender and Land Statistics

What is Indicator 4? Indicator 4 measures the share of agricultural land area that is owned by women (4.F), the share owned by men (4.M) and the share owned jointly by men and women (displayed in both 4.F and 4.M). The indicator is created as follows:


The indicator focuses on household owned land, e.g. it does not include land owned by for instance governments or corporations.


Advantages and challenges. The indicator reveals gender-based differences in the amount of land owned by men and women. The indicator is important in terms of illustrating women’s land rights as it goes beyond how many men and women own land (Indicators 2 and 3) and shows how much of the land is owned by men and women, respectively.  Insofar women’s plots tend to be smaller than men’s, Indictor 4 should reveal bigger gender gaps than Indicators 2 and 3. The indicator also provides information on how much of the land is owned individually by women and how much is owned jointly. There are challenges with collecting data on land ownership that affect this indicator.  One is the reliability of people’s response about whether they are owners.  One approach is to confirm documented ownership with the enumerator requesting to see the documents, but this is difficult to implement if for instance these documents may not be available at the time when the survey is conducted, or don’t exist.  In addition, there is some evidence that the responses about land ownership will differ, depending on who within the household is interviewed. Different country definitions of ownership and data collection years also pose a challenge for cross-country comparability of the indicator. Hence, this caveat should be kept in mind when interpreting the data above.


Data sources. The data used to construct Indicator 4 typically come from large-scale household surveys that include questions to identify the area of each agricultural plot and the owner (or owners).  A key source of this data is the Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) surveys, and particularly the LSMS-ISA (LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture), and other similar household surveys. The indicator is nationally representative insofar as the household survey data are nationally representative. Data displayed in the database is taken from household surveys analysed in academic papers. Links to household survey sources and papers below.

Ownership - notes

  1. Documented ownership is when the respondent reports that some type of ownership documents exist for the land. In most surveys, however, these documents are not verified. 
  2. Reported ownership is when the survey respondent identifies him-/herself or someone else in household as an owner of land. Ownership documents may or may not exist for this type of ownership and fully relies on the respondents own report of ownership.
  3. Certified land use rights means ownership is defined through the respondent’s name on a Land Use Certificate (LCU). An LCU is not an ownership document per se, but it grants long-term user rights, typically including rights to sell, bequeath, rent or mortgage the land. 
  4. Right to sell/use as collateral means ownership is defined through the ability to sell the land or use it as collateral. This is used as a proxy for ownership where direct ownership questions were not asked in the surveys.

For more details on individual country definitions, please refer to sources as quoted in the table above.