Indicator 51. Share of the population using reliable electricity, by urban/rural

Rationale and definition:

This indicator measures the share of the population with an electricity connection available at home or relying primarily on electricity for lighting, as defined by the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Framework Report.1 As with access to modern cooking solutions, currently available global databases (including the World Bank’s Global Electrification Database, and the IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances) only support a binary tracking of access to electricity. This metric does not capture important dimensions of access to electricity, including:

  • (i) off-grid and isolated mini-grids solutions, which are required in many countries as transitional alternatives to grid-based electricity, and could potentially serve as long-term solutions in geographically remote areas;
  • (ii) supply problems, which are common in developing countries, where grid electricity suffers from irregular supply and frequent breakdowns;
  • (iii) problems of quality (such as low or fluctuating voltage); and
  • (iv) the difference between electricity supply and electricity services, which implies the ownership of the appropriate electrical appliance and the actual use of electricity.

For these reasons, SE4All is planning to use a multi-tier metric for measuring access to electricity. This metric will measure the degree of access to electricity supply along various dimensions, including quantity (peak available capacity), duration, evening supply, affordability, legality, and quality. This is complemented by a parallel multi-tier framework that captures the use of key electricity services.2


By urban/rural and sex of head of household.

Comments and limitations:

To be reviewed.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Potential lead agency or agencies:

The SE4All, IEA and World Bank can provide data for this indicator.