World Social Security Report 2010/11. Providing coverage in times of crisis and beyond

This is the first in a new series of biennial reports that aim to map social security coverage globally, to presenting various methods and approaches for assessing coverage, and to identifying gaps in coverage. Backed by much comparative statistical data, this first report takes a comprehensive look at how countries are investing in social security, how they are financing it, and how effective their approaches are. The report examines the ways selected international organizations (the EU, OECD and ADB) monitor social protection and the correlation of social security coverage and the ILO Decent Work Indicators. The report's final section features a typology of national approaches to social security, with a focus on countries' responses to the economic crisis of 2008 -- and the lessons to be learned, especially concerning the short- and long-term management of pension schemes.

Providing coverage in times of crisis and beyond

Social security systems play a critical role in alleviating poverty and providing economic security, helping people to cope with life's major risks and adapt to change. They can have a remarkable effect on income inequality and poverty in developing countries through income transfers. The 2008/09 financial crisis has shown that they are also powerful economic and social stabilizers, with both short- and long-term effects. However, there are serious problems of access to social security around the world which the crisis has shown into sharp relief, and the financing of systems has been put at risk by shrinking national budgets.

The World Social Security Report 2010/11 monitors social security coverage across the world, and examines the role of social security in times of crisis. It maps social security coverage globally and by region or other country grouping, presenting methods and approaches to assessing social security coverage. It also identifies gaps in measurable statistical knowledge on not only social security coverage but its costs and impacts. The report includes full statistical annexes.

The World Social Security Report 2010/11 is the first in a new series of ILO reports monitoring social security coverage and is an essential reference for anyone interested in social security issues.

Table of contents







1. Standards, concepts and definitions


2. Scope of social security coverage around the world

3. Social health protection coverage

4. Coverage by social security pensions: Income security in old age

5. Income support to the unemployed

6. Coverage by other branches of social security

7. Investments in social security: Amounts, results and efficiency

8. Conclusions: The state of social security across the world - a first approximation to a typology of approaches


9. Responding to economic crisis with social security


Statistical Annex