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List of countries by literacy rate

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World map of countries shaded according to the literacy rate for all people aged 15 and over

This is a list of countries by literacy rate. The figures represented are almost entirely collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) on behalf of UNESCO with 2015 estimates based on people aged 15 or over who can read and write. Where data is not taken from this, notes are provided. The data is collated by mostly using suveys within the last ten years which are self-declared by the persons in question.[1] UIS provide estimates based on these for the year 2015 with a Global Age-specific Literacy Projections Model (GALP).[2]

The global literacy rate for all people aged 15 and over 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); Oceania having 71.3%; South and West Asia having 70.2% (2015) and sub-Saharan Africa at 64.0% (2015).[3] Over 75% of the world's 781 million illiterate adults are found in South Asia, West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and women represent almost two-thirds of all illiterate adults globally.[4]

List of countries[edit]

Country UNESCO[3] Non-UNESCO
literacy rate
Literacy rate (all) Male literacy Female literacy Gender difference
 World 86.3 86.3% 90.0% 82.7% 7.3%
 Afghanistan 38.1561238.2% 52.0% 24.2% 27.8%
 Albania 97.6241497.6% 98.4% 96.9% 1.5%
 Algeria 80.1989180.2% 87.2% 73.1% 14.0%
 Andorra not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Angola 71.1409971.1% 82.0% 60.7% 21.3%
 Antigua and Barbuda 98.95not reported by UNESCO 2015 99.0%(2013)[3][note 1]
 Argentina 98.0851698.1% 98.0% 98.1% -0.1%
 Armenia 99.767399.8% 99.8% 99.7% 0.1%
 Australia not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Austria not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Azerbaijan 99.8107899.8% 99.9% 99.7% 0.1%
 Bahamas not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Bahrain 95.7029595.7% 96.9% 93.5% 3.5%
 Bangladesh 61.5458861.5% 64.6% 58.5% 6.1% 71% (2014)[5][note 2]
 Barbados not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Belarus 99.728999.7% 99.8% 99.7% 0.1%
 Belgium not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Belize 82.6888682.7% 82.3% 83.0% -0.7%
 Benin 38.4471438.4% 49.9% 27.3% 22.6%
 Bhutan 64.8874564.9% 73.1% 55.0% 18.1%
 Bolivia 95.6509795.7% 97.8% 93.6% 4.2%
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 98.4768198.5% 99.5% 97.5% 2.1%
 Botswana 88.4649388.5% 88.0% 88.9% -0.9%
 Brazil 92.5837192.6% 92.2% 92.9% -0.7%
 Brunei Darussalam 96.408396.4% 97.7% 95.1% 2.6%
 Bulgaria 98.3889898.4% 98.7% 98.1% 0.7%
 Burkina Faso 36.0226336% 43.0% 29.3% 13.7%
 Burundi 85.6248185.6% 88.2% 83.1% 5.1%
 Cabo Verde 87.5765687.6% 92.1% 83.1% 9.0%
 Cambodia 77.1859877.2% 84.5% 70.5% 13.9%
 Cameroon 74.9855775% 81.2% 68.9% 12.3%
 Canada not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Central African Republic 36.7526136.8% 50.7% 24.4% 26.4%
 Chad 40.1713740.2% 48.5% 31.9% 16.6%
 Chile 97.2966497.3% 97.4% 97.2% 0.2%
 China 96.3754896.4% 98.2% 94.5% 3.7%
 Colombia 94.6755494.7% 94.6% 94.8% -0.2%
 Comoros 77.7635577.8% 81.8% 73.7% 8.1%
 Congo 79.3111779.3% 86.4% 72.9% 13.6%
 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 77.2896477.3% 88.9% 66.0% 22.8%
 Costa Rica 97.7552797.8% 97.7% 97.8% -0.1%
 Côte d'Ivoire 43.1130643.1% 53.1% 32.5% 20.6%
 Croatia 99.2741299.3% 99.7% 98.9% 0.7%
 Cuba 99.7115799.7% 99.7% 99.8% -0.1%
 Cyprus 99.0656999.1% 99.5% 98.7% 0.8%
 Czech Republic not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Denmark not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Djibouti not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Dominica not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Dominican Republic 91.7907791.8% 91.2% 92.3% -1.1%
 Ecuador 94.4550494.5% 95.4% 93.5% 1.8%
 Egypt 75.2364775.2% 83.2% 67.3% 16.0%
 El Salvador 88.3868388.4% 90.7% 86.4% 4.3%
 Equatorial Guinea 95.2569295.3% 97.4% 93.0% 4.4%
 Eritrea 73.7699773.8% 82.4% 65.5% 16.9%
 Estonia 99.8251799.8% 99.8% 99.8% 0.0%
 Ethiopia 49.090749.1% 57.2% 41.1% 16.1%
 Fiji not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Finland not reported by UNESCO 2015
 France not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Gabon 83.1798183.2% 85.3% 81.0% 4.3%
 Gambia 55.5471955.5% 63.9% 47.6% 16.3%
 Georgia 99.760999.8% 99.8% 99.7% 0.1%
 Germany not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Ghana 76.5728176.6% 82.0% 71.4% 10.7%
 Greece 97.6868697.7% 98.5% 96.9% 1.6%
 Grenada not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Guatemala 79.305379.3% 84.7% 74.4% 10.4%
 Guinea 30.4082630.4% 38.1% 22.8% 15.3%
 Guinea-Bissau 59.9105759.9% 71.8% 48.3% 23.5%
 Guyana 88.4996888.5% 87.2% 89.8% -2.6%
 Haiti 60.7322860.7% 64.3% 57.3% 7.0%
 Honduras 88.4838188.5% 88.4% 88.6% -0.1%
 Hungary 99.0504399.1% 99.1% 99.0% 0.2%
 Iceland not reported by UNESCO 2015
 India 72.1309572.1% 80.9% 62.8% 18.1%
 Indonesia 93.8826293.9% 96.3% 91.5% 4.7%
 Iran 86.8468386.8% 91.2% 82.5% 8.7%
 Iraq 79.687579.7% 85.7% 73.7% 11.9%
 Ireland not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Israel 97.8 not reported by UNESCO 2015 97.8% (2011)[4][note 3]
 Italy 99.1549899.2% 99.4% 99.0% 0.4%
 Jamaica 88.6900288.7% 84.0% 93.1% -9.1%
 Japan not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Jordan 96.6659296.7% 98.1% 95.2% 3.0%
 Kazakhstan 99.7901799.8% 99.8% 99.8% 0.0%
 Kenya 77.9650378% 81.1% 74.9% 6.2%
 Kiribati not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 99.99924100% 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
 Korea, Republic of not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Kuwait 96.1590596.2% 96.9% 95.0% 1.9%
 Kyrgyzstan 99.5209799.5% 99.6% 99.4% 0.2%
 Laos 79.860479.9% 87.1% 72.8% 14.3%
 Latvia 99.8913899.9% 99.9% 99.9% 0.0%
 Lebanon 93.9422593.9% 96.0% 91.8% 4.1%
 Lesotho 79.3609479.4% 70.1% 88.3% -18.2%
 Liberia 47.6001347.6% 62.4% 32.8% 29.6%
 Libya 91.0232891% 96.7% 85.6% 11.1%
 Liechtenstein not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Lithuania 99.8198899.8% 99.8% 99.8% 0.0%
 Luxembourg not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Macedonia 97.8263297.8% 98.8% 96.8% 2.0%
 Madagascar 64.656364.7% 66.7% 62.6% 4.1%
 Malawi 65.7942765.8% 73.0% 58.6% 14.4%
 Malaysia 94.644694.6% 96.2% 93.2% 3.0%
 Maldives 99.3068299.3% 99.8% 98.8% 0.9%
 Mali 38.7019438.7% 48.2% 29.2% 19.0%
 Malta 94.138894.1% 92.5% 95.7% -3.2%
 Marshall Islands not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Mauritania 52.10252.1% 62.6% 41.6% 21.0%
 Mauritius 90.6225390.6% 92.9% 88.5% 4.4%
 Mexico 94.3896894.4% 95.6% 93.3% 2.2%
 Micronesia not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Moldova 99.362699.4% 99.7% 99.1% 0.7%
 Monaco not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Mongolia 98.3840298.4% 98.2% 98.6% -0.4%
 Montenegro 98.7322998.7% 99.5% 98.0% 1.4%
 Morocco 72.3773272.4% 82.7% 62.5% 20.2%
 Mozambique 58.7728958.8% 73.3% 45.4% 27.9%
 Myanmar 93.0941593.1% 95.2% 91.2% 4.0%
 Namibia 81.9412981.9% 79.2% 84.5% -5.3%
 Nauru not reported by UNESCO 2015
   Nepal 64.6637964.7% 75.6% 55.1% 20.5%
 Netherlands not reported by UNESCO 2015
 New Zealand not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Nicaragua 82.8173482.8% 82.4% 83.2% -0.9%
 Niger 19.1297919.1% 27.3% 11.0% 16.3%
 Nigeria 59.5679759.6% 69.2% 49.7% 19.5%
 Norway not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Oman 94.7560194.8% 96.9% 90.0% 6.9%
 Pakistan 58.6831458.7% 71.5% 45.3% 26.2%
 Palau 99.5239799.5% 99.5% 99.6% -0.1%
 Panama 95.0483395% 95.7% 94.4% 1.2%
 Papua New Guinea 64.2346964.2% 65.6% 62.8% 2.8%
 Paraguay 95.5624495.6% 96.1% 95.0% 1.1%
 Peru 94.4795394.5% 97.3% 91.7% 5.6%
 Philippines 96.289296.3% 95.8% 96.8% -1.0%
 Poland 99.7914199.8% 99.9% 99.7% 0.2%
 Portugal 95.6781495.7% 97.1% 94.4% 2.7%
 Qatar 97.7573597.8% 97.9% 97.3% 0.6%
 Romania 98.7687198.8% 99.1% 98.5% 0.6%
 Russia 99.7207899.7% 99.7% 99.7% 0.0%
 Rwanda 70.5159270.5% 73.2% 68.0% 5.2%
 Saint Kitts and Nevis not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Saint Lucia not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Samoa 99.0150299% 98.9% 99.1% -0.2%
 San Marino not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Sao Tome and Principe 74.9160274.9% 81.8% 68.4% 13.4%
 Saudi Arabia 94.6511494.7% 97.0% 91.1% 5.9%
 Senegal 55.6682555.7% 68.5% 43.8% 24.6%
 Serbia 98.1080598.1% 99.1% 97.2% 1.9%
 Seychelles 95.213695.2% 94.7% 95.7% -1.0%
 Sierra Leone 48.0904748.1% 58.7% 37.7% 21.1%
 Singapore 96.8377296.8% 98.7% 95.1% 3.6%
 Slovakia 99.619299.6% 99.6% 99.6% 0.0%
 Slovenia 99.7159699.7% 99.7% 99.7% 0.0%
 Solomon Islands not reported by UNESCO 2015 84.1% (2015)[4][note 4]
 Somalia not reported by UNESCO 2015
 South Africa 94.2666494.3% 95.5% 93.1% 2.4%
 South Sudan 31.9352231.9% 38.6% 25.3% 13.3%
 Spain 98.0979798.1% 98.7% 97.5% 1.3%
 Sri Lanka 92.6344892.6% 93.6% 91.7% 1.9%
 Sudan 75.8998975.9% 83.3% 68.6% 14.6%
 Suriname 95.5719195.6% 96.1% 95.0% 1.1%
 Swaziland 87.4701987.5% 87.4% 87.5% -0.1%
 Sweden not reported by UNESCO 2015
  Switzerland not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Syria 86.4332786.4% 91.7% 81.0% 10.7%
 Tajikistan 99.7733499.8% 99.8% 99.7% 0.1%
 Tanzania, United Republic of 80.3205480.3% 84.8% 75.9% 9.0%
 Thailand 96.6650796.7% 96.6% 96.7% 0.0%
 Timor-Leste 67.5208567.5% 71.5% 63.4% 8.1%
 Togo 66.547366.5% 78.3% 55.3% 23.0%
 Tonga 99.3978899.4% 99.3% 99.4% -0.1%
 Trinidad and Tobago 98.9630599% 99.2% 98.7% 0.5%
 Tunisia 81.7794981.8% 89.6% 74.2% 15.4%
 Turkey 95.0106295% 98.4% 91.8% 6.6%
 Turkmenistan 99.6929199.7% 99.8% 99.6% 0.1%
 Tuvalu not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Uganda 73.863373.9% 80.8% 66.9% 14.0%
 Ukraine 99.7647699.8% 99.8% 99.7% 0.1%
 United Arab Emirates 93.8358593.8% 93.1% 95.8% -2.6%
 United Kingdom not reported by UNESCO 2015
 United States of America not reported by UNESCO 2015
 Uruguay 98.4251298.4% 98.1% 98.7% -0.6%
 Uzbekistan 99.5936699.6% 99.7% 99.5% 0.3%
 Vanuatu 85.2251885.2% 86.6% 83.8% 2.8%
 Venezuela 95.3624595.4% 95.0% 95.7% -0.7%
 Vietnam 94.5068394.5% 96.3% 92.8% 3.4%
 Yemen 70.0740170.1% 85.1% 55.0% 30.1%
 Zambia 63.3766163.4% 70.9% 56.0% 14.9%
 Zimbabwe 86.5025686.5% 88.5% 84.6% 4.0%

List of other territories[edit]

Territory Literacy rate (all) Male literacy Female literacy Gender difference Year Notes
 Aruba 97.5% 97.5% 97.5% 0.0% 2015[3] A constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
 Cayman Islands 98.9% 98.7% 99.0% -0.3% 2007[3] An overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
 Guadeloupe 96.5% 96.4% 96.6% -0.2% 2015[3] Overseas region/department of France.
 Guam 99.8% 99.8% 99.8% 0.0% 2015[3] The United States has sovereignty.
 Kosovo 91.9% 96.6% 87.5% 9.1% 2003[4] Member of two UN specialized agencies (World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund). It is claimed by Serbia.
 Macau 96.2% 98.0% 94.6% 3.4% 2015[3] A special administrative region of which China has sovereignty.
 Martinique 97.0% 97.6% 96.4% 1.2% 2015[3] Overseas region/department of France.
 New Caledonia 96.9% 97.3% 96.5% 0.8% 2015[3] Overseas region/department of France.
 Palestine 96.7% 98.5% 94.8% 3.7% 2015[3] UN Observer State[6]
 Puerto Rico 93.3% 92.8% 93.8% -1.0% 2015[3] The United States has sovereignty.
 Réunion 93.9% 93.2% 94.5% -1.3% 2015[3] Overseas region/department of France.
 Taiwan 98.5% 99.7% 97.3% 2.4% 2014[4] Member of one UN specialized agency (World Health Organization) as Chinese Taipei; Claimed by the People's Republic of China.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The breakdown by gender is 98.4% male, 99.4% female (difference of -1.0%)
  2. ^ CRI do not give a breakdown by gender or state the age bracket for the data
  3. ^ The breakdown by gender is 98.7% male, 95.8% female (difference of 2.9%)
  4. ^ The breakdown by gender is 88.9% male, 79.2% female (difference is 9.7%)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Literacy Statistics Metadata Information Table". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. September 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Lutz, Wolfgang and Scherbov, Sergei (July 2006). Global Age-specific Literacy Projections Model (GALP): Rationale, Methodology and Software (PDF). Adult Education and Literacy Statistics Programme (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Adult literacy rate, population 15+ years (both sexes, female, male)". UIS Data Centre. UNESCO. August 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Country Comparison to the World of Literacy Rate". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  5. ^ CRI=Center Research and Information (2014). Bangladesh Education for All. CRI Publication. p. 138. ISBN 0756698596. 
  6. ^ "Non-member States". United Nations. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 

External links[edit]