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This is a list of countries by
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write in at least one method of writing, an understanding reflected by mainstream dictionaries. Correspondingly, the term ''illiteracy'' is considered to be the inability to read an ...

literacy
rate. The figures represented are almost entirely collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) on behalf of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an ...

UNESCO
, with 2015 estimates based on people aged 15 or over who can read and write. Where data is taken from a different source, notes are provided. The data is collated by mostly using surveys within the last ten years which are self-declared by the persons in question. UIS provide estimates based on these for the year 2015 with a ''Global Age-specific Literacy Projections Model (GALP). The global literacy rate for all people aged 15 and above is 86.3%. The global literacy rate for all males is 90.0%, and the rate for all females is 82.7%. The rate varies throughout the world, with developed nations having a rate of 99.2% (2013),
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
and West Asia having 70.2% (2015), and
sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories in Africa, Af ...
at 64.0% (2015). Over 75% of the world's 781 million illiterate adults are found in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sr ...
, West Asia, and
sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories in Africa, Af ...
, and women represent almost two-thirds of all illiterate adults globally.


List of UN member states by age group and gender disparity

Data published by UNESCO in 2018 (last informed rates and year), using the following definitions:
Youth: Percentage of people aged 15 to 24 years who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement on their everyday life. Generally, "literacy" also encompasses "numeracy", the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations.
Adult: Percentage of the population aged 15 years and over who can both read and write, with understanding a short simple statement on his/her everyday life. Generally, "literacy" also encompasses "numeracy", the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations.
Elderly: Percentage of the population aged 65 years and over who can both read and write, with understanding a short simple statement on their everyday life. Generally, "literacy" also encompasses "numeracy", the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations.
Gender Parity Index (GPI): The gender parity index (GPI) of the youth literacy rate is the ratio of the female to male literacy rates of the population aged 15 to 24 years. A GPI value between 0.97 and 1.03 is usually interpreted to indicate gender parity.


List of UN member and observer states by adult literacy rate


List of other states and territories


See also

* International Literacy Day * Compulsory education * Indian states ranking by literacy rate * List of Brazilian states by literacy rate *
Programme for International Student Assessment The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations intended to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15-year-ol ...
, which focuses on developed countries


Notes


References


External links


World Bank – Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)
for historical use. {{Population country lists
Literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write in at least one method of writing, an understanding reflected by mainstream dictionaries. Correspondingly, the term ''illiteracy'' is considered to be the inability to read an ...
* Lists of countries by population-related issue, Literacy