SDGs: Indicator 1.4.2 | Page 5 | Land Portal

Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure.


Last updated on 1 February 2022

This indicator is currently classified as Tier II aiming to achieve Tier 1 status in 2022. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the World Bank are the main Custodian agencies with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as partners.

Unit of measure: Proportion of people with legally recognized documentation of their rights to land out of total adult population, disaggregated by sex (%); Proportion of people who perceive their rights to land as secure, out of total adult population disaggregated by sex (%)


Why is this indicator important?

Access to land is central to ending poverty and gender inequality as well as contributing to food security. Securing tenure rights for all will ensure sustainable social and economic opportunities needed to eradicate poverty (SDG1), as well as contribute to the achievement of SDG2 on eradicating hunger, SDG5 on gender equality and empowerment of women, SDG11 on building inclusive, resilient, and sustainable urban areas, SDG15 on reducing land degradation and SDG16 on fostering peace and security.

Access to regular, quality and sex disaggregated data on land tenure rights is key for policy decisions in transforming the land sector with regard to responsible land governance and gender equality. The indicator contributes to tracking of progress on other global and regional commitments on land governance and development frameworks such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (VGGT), the New Urban Agenda and the Africa Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa and Agenda 2063. The indicator facilitates comparability of data between countries, which will also support regional and global advocacy and help identify good practice which can influence the development of land governance policy by various stakeholders at the national, regional, and international level.


How is the indicator measured and monitored?

According to the metadata document, the two sub-indicators provide complementary datasets drawing on censuses, national multi-topic household surveys, demographic and health surveys, urban inequity surveys, and, depending on availability, administrative data on land tenure as reported by land registries, cadasters, or relevant ministries. The indicator covers all tenure types, e.g., freehold, leasehold, public land, and customary land. Legal documentation goes beyond evidence of land ownership and includes also other legally enforceable documentation of rights to land. The perception of tenure security refers to an individual’s perception of the likelihood of involuntary loss of land regardless of the formal status.

According to the SDG Indicators Database managed by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), a total of 34 countries had reported data on SDG indicator 1.4.2 as of June 2021. FAO, UN-Habitat and World Bank developed a joint module covering data requirements for both 1.4.2 and 5.a.1  that is freely accessible and includes the essential questions required for these two indicators, and detailed guidance on how to integrated these in national survey instruments already in place.


By Anne Hennings, peer-reviewed by Everlyne Nairesiae, GLII Coordinator at the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) at GLTN, Un-Habitat and Clinton Omusula, Land Data and Knowledge Management Specialist at the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) at GLTN, UN-Habitat, and the World Bank.


Official indicator data

The number of men and women with documented evidence of secure tenure rights to individually or communally held land, property and natural resources divided by the total number of adult population surveyed x 100.


* Select "year" below to see the most recent data for more countries.

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Other related indicators on the Land Portal

These Prindex indicators provide further data relevant to SDG indicator 1.4.2.


Percentage of people who believe it is somewhat or very likely that they could lose the right to use their property or part of it against their will in the next 5 years.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who believe it is very unlikely or unlikely that they could lose the right to use their property or part of it against their will in the next 5 years

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who say they have formal, legally-binding documents that demonstrate their right to live in or use any of their properties

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who say they have informal formal documents that demonstrate their right to live in or use any of their properties

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who say they have no formal or informal documents that demonstrate their right to live in or use any of their properties

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who think that property rights are somewhat or very well-protected in their country

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who have lost the right to live in a property against their will

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Percentage of people who, if challenged, know how to defend their rights to live in or otherwise use their properties

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

SDG Land Tracker

Goal 1: No poverty
Target 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

Indicator details

Tier 2

The indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data is not regularly produced by countries.

Key dates: 

Experts reach consensus on measuring Indicator 1.4.2.

13 June 2017

Experts agree on a set of household survey questions that will be included in the global and national-level surveys and censuses to measure how secure peoples’ land and property rights are.

IAEG-SDG recommends deleting Target 1.4

28 October 2015

Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL) confronts IAEG-SDG recommendation to delete Target 1.4.

3rd Expert Group Meeting: Using Administrative Data to Monitor SDG land

6 July 2017 to 7 July 2017

Particularly, the objectives of this EGM were to agree on the methodology to monitor indicator 1.4.2 pertaining to legally documented rights using administrative data and to assess availability of existing data and explore ways of institutionalizing reporting at country and regional level.  

Sixth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs

11 November 2017 to 14 November 2017

Particularly the objectives of this meeting have been to review tier classification.  The work of those in the land sector came to fruition when indicator 1.4.2 was finally bumped from Tier III to Tier II status.  

High-Level Political Forum 2021

6 July 2021 to 15 July 2021

The ministerial declaration of the high-level segment of the 2021 session of the Economic and Social Council and the high-level political forum on sustainable development reiterated the urgency to ensure women’s equal access to, and control over, land and natural resources.

Twelfth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs

2 November 2021 to 4 November 2021

VNR Lab 4: How data is guiding sustainable recovery from COVID-19 for achieving the SDGs

8 July 2021

The VNR lab will provide a platform for countries to share their experiences-both successes and challenges-in planning and preparing an evidence-based and data-driven VNR in the time of COVID-19. Data and statistics are guiding countries' effort in combating the virus, saving lives and recovering better. Over the last year, countries have faced unprecedented disruptions in statistical operations and a spike in demand for data to monitor and mitigate the effects of the global pandemic.

Eleventh meeting of the IAEG-SDGs

3 November 2020 to 5 November 2020

Counted and visible: Global conference on the measurement of gender and intersecting inequalities

26 February 2020 to 27 February 2020

Counted and Visible: The global conference on the measurement of gender and intersecting inequalities will create a common understanding among data users and producers on how to measure intersecting inequalities from a gender perspective in order to 'leave no one behind.' It will contribute to current work on data disaggregation to better inform policies and advocacy on gender equality and women's empowerment. The conference will also be a space for dialogue on gender and intersectionality, to have a better understanding on the needs of the most marginalized groups.

This event is co-organized by UN Statistics Division and UN Women.

Custodian agency: 

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UNEP work encompasses:

  • Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends