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World map indicating literacy by country (2007/2008 Human Development Report) Grey = no data
World map indicating Education Index by country (2007/2008 Human Development Report)

List of countries by literacy rate, as included in the United Nations Development Programme Report 2009.[1][2]

Adult literacy rate.

This Report uses data on adult literacy rates from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS) April 2007 Assessment (UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2007a), that combines direct national estimates with recent estimates based on its Global age-specific literacy projections model developed in 2007. The national estimates, made available through targeted efforts by UIS to collect recent literacy data from countries, are obtained from national censuses or surveys between 1995 and 2005. Where recent estimates are not available, older UIS estimates, produced in July 2002 and based mainly on national data collected before 1995, have been used instead.

Many high-income countries, having attained high levels of literacy, no longer collect basic literacy statistics and thus are not included in the UIS data. In calculating the Human Development Index (HDI), a literacy rate of 99.0% is assumed for high-income countries that do not report adult literacy information.

In collecting literacy data, many countries estimate the number of literate people based on self-reported data. Some use educational attainment data as a proxy, but measures of school attendance or grade completion may differ. Because definitions and data collection methods vary across countries, literacy estimates should be used with caution.

Rank Country Literacy rate [b]
1  Georgia 100.0
1  Cuba 99.8
1  Estonia 99.8
1  Latvia 99.8
4  Barbados 99.7 [j]
4  Slovenia 99.7 [l]
4  Belarus 99.7
4  Lithuania 99.7
4  Ukraine 99.7
9  Kazakhstan 99.6
9  Tajikistan 99.6
11  Armenia 99.5
11  Azerbaijan 99.5
11  Turkmenistan 99.5
11  Russia 99.5
11  Hungary 99.4 [j]
15  Kyrgyzstan 99.3
15  Poland 99.3 [j]
17  Moldova 99.2 [l]
17  Tonga 99.2
19  Albania 99.0
19  Antigua and Barbuda 99.0 [q]
19  Australia 99.0 [d]
19  Austria 99.0 [d]
19  Belgium 99.0 [d]
19  Canada 99.0 [d]
19  Czech Republic 99.0 [d]
19  North Korea 99.0 [d]
19  Denmark 99.0 [d]
19  Finland 99.0 [d]
19  France 99.0 [d]
19  Germany 99.0 [d]
19  Guyana 99.0 [j]
19  Iceland 99.0 [d]
19  Ireland 99.0 [d]
19  Japan 99.0 [d]
19  South Korea 99.0 [d]
19  Luxembourg 99.0 [d]
19  Netherlands 99.0 [d]
19  New Zealand 99.0 [d]
19  Norway 99.0 [d]
19  Slovakia 99.0 [d]
19  Sweden 99.0 [d]
19  Switzerland 99.0 [d]
19  United Kingdom 99.0 [d]
19  United States See also: Literacy in the United States 99.0 [d]
43  Italy 98.9
45  Samoa 98.7 [l]
45  Trinidad and Tobago 98.7 [l]
45  Croatia 98.7
48  Bulgaria 98.3
49  Spain 97.9 [d]
49  Uruguay 97.9
51  Saint Kitts and Nevis 97.8 [k]
52  Cyprus 97.7
53  Romania 97.6
53  Argentina 97.6
55  Mongolia 97.3
56  Israel 97.1 [k]
56  Greece 97.1
58  Maldives 97.0
58  Macedonia 97.0
60  Uzbekistan 96.9 [j]
61  Bosnia and Herzegovina 96.7
62  Chile 96.5
63  Serbia 96.4
64  Grenada 96.0 [q]
65  Costa Rica 95.9
66  Bahamas 95.8 [j]
67  Venezuela 95.2
68  Brunei Darussalam 94.9
68  Portugal 94.9 [l]
70  Saint Lucia 94.8 [q]
71  Hong Kong 94.6 [j]
71  Paraguay 94.6 [l]
73  Kuwait 94.5
74  Singapore 94.4
74  Fiji 94.4 [j]
76  Thailand 94.1
77  Palestinian Authority 93.8
78  Panama 93.4
78  Philippines 93.4
80  China 93.3
81  Qatar 93.1
82  Mexico 92.8
83  Colombia 92.7
84  Malta 92.4
85  Brazil 92.0
86  Malaysia 91.9
87  Seychelles 91.8
88  Zimbabwe 91.2 [l]
89  Jordan 91.1
90  Ecuador 91.0
91  Sri Lanka 90.8 [w]
92  Bolivia 90.7
93  Suriname 90.4
94  Vietnam 90.3
95  United Arab Emirates 90.0 [l]
95  Brazil 90.0
97  Myanmar 89.9
98  Peru 89.6
98  Lebanon 89.6 [j]
100  Dominican Republic 89.1
101  Turkey 88.7
102  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 88.1 [q]
103  Dominica 88.0 [q]
104  Equatorial Guinea 87.0
105  Bahrain 88.8
106  Namibia 85.0
107  Sao Tome and Principe 84.9
108  Republic of the Congo 84.7 [l]
109  Mauritius 84.3
110  Libya 84.2 [l]
111  Gabon 84.0 [l]
112  Saudi Arabia 82.9
113  Iran 82.4
113  South Africa 82.4
115  Lesotho 82.2
116  Oman 81.4
117  Botswana 81.2
117  Cape Verde 81.2 [l]
119  Syria 80.8
120  El Salvador 80.5 [l]
121  Honduras 80.0
122  Jamaica 79.9
123  Swaziland 79.6
124  Nicaragua 76.7
126  Solomon Islands 76.6 [k]
127  Belize 75.1 [q]
128  Tunisia 74.3
129  Vanuatu 74.0
130  Cambodia 73.6
131  Kenya 73.6
132  Egypt 71.4
133  Madagascar 70.7
134  Djibouti 70.3 [j]
135  Algeria 69.9
136  Tanzania 69.4
137  Guatemala 69.1
138  Nigeria 69.1 [l]
139  Laos 68.7
140  Zambia 68.0
141  Cameroon 67.9
142  Angola 67.4
143  Democratic Republic of the Congo 67.2
144  Uganda 66.8
145  Rwanda 64.9
146  Malawi 64.1
147  India 61.0
148  Sudan 60.9 [aa]
149  Eritrea 60.5 [j]
150  Burundi 59.3
151  Ghana 57.9
152  Papua New Guinea 57.3
153  Comoros 56.8 [j]
154  Haiti 54.8 [j]
155  Yemen 54.1 [l]
156  Togo 53.2
157  Morocco 52.3
158  Mauritania 51.2
159  Timor-Leste 50.1 [ab]
160  Pakistan 49.9
161  Côte d'Ivoire 48.7
162  Central African Republic 48.6
162  Nepal 48.6
164  Bangladesh 47.5
165  Bhutan 47.0 [v]
166  Guinea-Bissau 44.8 [j]
167  Gambia 42.5 [j]
168  Senegal 39.3
169  Mozambique 38.7
170  Ethiopia 35.9
171  Sierra Leone 34.8
172  Benin 34.7
173  Guinea 29.5
174  Niger 28.7
175  Chad 25.7
176  Mali 24.0
177  Burkina Faso 23.6

Notes

  • ^ United Nations Development Program UNDP.org Table H.
  • ^ Tables in spreadsheet format can be found UNDP.org
  • ^b 0 Data refer to national literacy estimates from censuses or surveys conducted between 1995 and 2005, unless otherwise specified. Due to differences in methodology and timeliness of underlying data, comparisons across countries and over time should be made with caution. For more details, see Unesco.org.
  • ^d 1 For purposes of calculating the HDI, a value of 99.0% was applied.
  • ^v 2 UNICEF 2004.
  • ^l 3 UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates based on its Global Age-specific Literacy Projections model, April 2007.
  • ^j 4 In the absence of recent data, estimates from UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2003, based on outdated census or survey information, were used and should be interpreted with caution: Bahamas 95.8, Barbados 99.7, Comoros 56.8, Djibouti 70.3, Eritrea 60.5, Fiji 94.4, Gambia 42.5, Guinea-Bissau 44.8, Guyana 99.0, Haiti 54.8, Hong Kong, China (SAR) 94.6, Hungary 99.4, Lebanon 88.3, Poland 99.8 and Uzbekistan 80.4. Note that the 1991 census in Comoros indicates a literacy rate of 91% for the three independent islands.
  • ^k 5 Data are from national sources.
  • ^q 6 Data are from the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community, based on national sources.
  • ^w 7 Data refer to 18 of 25 districts of the country only.
  • ^aa 8 Data refer to North Sudan only.
  • ^ab 9 UNDP 2007.
  • The Holy See (Vatican City) not listed

See also

References

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